Thursday, October 30, 2014

Swann Foundation Announces Awards for 2014-2015

October 30, 2014

Public contact: Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115,

Swann Foundation Announces Awards for 2014-2015
The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, is awarding fellowships to three applicants for the academic year 2014-2015.  Recipients are affiliated with McGill University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Northwestern University.
Andrew Benjamin Bricker, a postdoctoral fellow in English at McGill University, recently completed his doctorate in English at Stanford University.  He will expand on part of his dissertation "Producing and Litigating Satire, 1670-1792," as he investigates a shift in satire in the second half of the 18th century, when changes in British libel laws made printed political and personal satire legally precarious.  Bricker contends that, at mid-century, satire began to migrate from print to visual media, especially caricature and visual satire, and plans to study the wealth of examples held at the Library of Congress.  These visual works were executed by key British satirical artists who offered personalized, nasty and popular critiques of their often well-known human targets.
Paul Hirsch is an instructor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also completed his doctorate in American history. Building on his dissertation "Pulp Empire: Comic Books, Cartoons, and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1941-1955," he will examine the dissemination of and impact made by millions of American comic books and cartoon booklets from the early 1940s to the mid-1950s.  Hirsch contends that these popular publications, whether uncensored commercial ones or government-sanctioned, worked to define, for a global audience, what it meant to be American—presenting American policymakers with both an opportunity and a challenge. The American government, he contends, met this challenge through a combination of repression and co-optation.
Maureen Warren, a doctoral candidate in art history at Northwestern University, analyzes works of art about domestic political disputes in the Northern Netherlands during the 17th century in her dissertation "Politics, Punishment, and Prestige: Images of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and the States Party in the Dutch Republic, 1618-1672."  The artists creating such work used caricature and satire to mock politicians and religious leaders in Dutch and German news prints and illustrated broadsides.  These include the Hauslab Album, a rare collection of prints that depicts European armed conflicts from 1566-1711. Study of the Hauslab imagery and Dutch prints in the Library's collections will contribute to Warren's goal of contextualizing later examples of Dutch political art.
During the coming academic year, the three recipients will collectively conduct research at the Library, in the General Collections and in the Prints and Photographs, Serial and Government Publications, and Rare Book and Special Collections divisions.
New York advertising executive Erwin Swann (1906-1973) established the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon in 1967.  An avid collector, Swann assembled a large group of original drawings by over 500 artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in the 1970s.  Swann's original purpose was to build a collection of original drawings by significant creators of humorous and satiric art and to encourage the study of original cartoon and caricature drawings as works of art.  The foundation's support of research and academic publication is carried out, in part, through a program of fellowships.
The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day.  International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history.  For more information, visit
The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.  The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at
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