Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tomorrow, April 30: Signe Wilkinson and Ann Telnaes Discuss Political Cartooning


April 10, 2015

Public contact: Martha H. Kennedy (202) 707-9115,
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Cartoonists Signe Wilkinson and Ann Telnaes Discuss
Political Cartooning in Today's World

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists Signe Wilkinson and Ann Telnaes will share their perspectives on the art of political cartooning and show examples of their own cartoons, in a panel discussion at the Library of Congress.

The program, "'That's Not Funny!': Signe Wilkinson and Ann Telnaes on Cartooning in a Charlie Hebdo World," will start at noon on Thursday, April 30, in Dining Room A on the sixth floor of the Library's James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The event is free and open to the public.  No tickets are needed.

Wilkinson and Telnaes will address several topics that currently affect a political cartoonist's approach to his or her work.  The panel will be moderated by Martha H. Kennedy, curator of popular and applied graphic art in the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.

Each cartoonist will be asked to describe her initial reaction to the murders of five cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on Jan. 7, 2015, and her responses in cartoon and other formats.  Wilkinson and Telnaes will share their perceptions about collective responses to the events from the cartooning community.

The broader, related issue of exercising freedom of expression in the art of cartooning also will be discussed by the cartoonists.  Both will show, and comment on, their own cartoons that have triggered controversy and aroused strong negative and/or positive responses.

Wilkinson is the editorial cartoonist for The Philadelphia Daily News and Telnaes creates animated editorial cartoons and a blog of print cartoons, animated gifs and sketches for The Washington Post.  The only women so far to have won the Pulitzer Prize for their political cartoons, each also has won many other prestigious awards in the field.  They are among a small number of women who pursue political cartooning as their main professional focus.  Both will comment on their own experiences as women in a cartoon specialty heavily dominated by men.

The program, co-sponsored by the Prints and Photographs Division, the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon and the Interpretive Programs Office, complements the Library of Congress exhibition "Pointing Their Pens: Herblock and Fellow Cartoonists Confront the Issues," which features the editorial cartoons of Herbert L. Block (1909-2001) shown alongside the work of his contemporaries over four decades.  Curated by Sara W. Duke of the Prints and Photographs Division, the exhibition explores the art and expressive power of the editorial cartoon and allows for comparisons of the ways in which cartoonists react to and interpret current events, develop their own distinct visual vocabularies and convey their diverse political opinions.  The exhibit is on view through March 19, 2016 in the Graphic Arts Galleries, ground level, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The panel is part of the Swann Foundation's continuing activities to support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world.  The foundation's advisory board is comprised of scholars, collectors, cartoonists and Library of Congress staff members.  The foundation awards one fellowship annually to assist scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon.  Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be due Monday, Feb. 15, 2016.  For more information, visit or e-mail

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 160 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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