Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature
Nasher Museum of Art
Feb. 4 – May 16, 2010
A unique exhibition that compares the 19th century origins of journalistic caricature with its transformation in the digital age comes to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from Feb. 4 through May 16, 2010.
“Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature” juxtaposes political cartoons from the past, such as works featuring French King Louis-Philippe (1830-1848) by Honoré Daumier and his contemporaries, with work produced more recently during the tenures of U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (1993-2009).
Artists in the show include Garry Trudeau of the syndicated cartoon “Doonesbury,” Steve Bell of the Guardian, Dwayne Powell of The (Raleigh) News and Observer, Gerald Scarfe of London’s Sunday Times and such seasoned political cartoonists as Steve Brodner, Jeff Danziger and Pat Oliphant.
The exhibition will highlight the development of graphic satire as a significant journalistic medium and explore its strengths and limitations as a catalyst for political debate. The exhibit also will investigate caricature’s prospective place within emerging Web-based media, as traditional print journalism adapts to new technological forms.
The exhibition has been organized by the Nasher Museum, with guest curator Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Art & Art History in Duke’s Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. Anne Schroder is the Nasher Museum’s coordinating curator for the exhibition.
“We’ve seen unprecedented upheaval in the newspaper and magazine industry that calls into question the long-term role that political cartooning can play in the print news media,” McWilliam said. “With this exhibition, we take stock and ask what function caricature can still fill as a critical voice in society.”
Seven students assisted McWilliam in the organization of the exhibition: Duke graduate students Alexis Clark and Katherine de Vos Devine, Duke undergraduates Corina Apostol and Ruthie Chen, and graduate students Alison Hafera Cox, Kate Arpen and Mara West from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature” will be complemented by programs at the Nasher Museum, including a free family day event, two roundtable discussions, a film series, teacher workshops and other events. Chris Lamb, professor of communications at the College of Charleston and author of “Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons in the United States,” will give a talk Feb. 4 for the exhibition opening.