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Past Exhibits

Politics of Humor, Humor of Politics: Comics, Graphics, and Illustration From the 18th Century to Now

By March 4, 2020September 16th, 2023No Comments

Political illustration from the exhibitThis exhibit features the work of cartoonists, illustrators, and graphic artists who unabashedly address political topics relevant to the concerns of the people.

Materials include original sketches, various graphic ephemera, and rare historical newspapers and magazines from the University Libraries’ special collections. Selections will show artists from Goya, S.E.M., and Grosz to contemporaries Crumb, Sack, and Laurie Lipton. Exhibit materials focus on presidents and politicians, and local, national and international issues of the day.

A poster display — The Satirical and Political Graphics of Modern Times, by Spanish cartoonist and illustrator Miguel Brieva — accompanies the exhibit. This display presents prominent artists whose work best represents the diverse styles of graphic art across different political and historical eras and from various nations.

Exhibit Details

What: Politics of Humor, Humor of Politics: Comics, Graphics, and Illustration From the 18th Century to Now
When: March 27 through August 14, 2020
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, Wallin Center, Bell Gallery (ground floor)
Hours: Open during regular building hours at Elmer L. Andersen Library


  • Deborah Ultan, Arts & Architecture Librarian, Curator of the Gorman Rare Art Books and Media Collection, University of Minnesota
  • Emily Janisch, Special Programs Support Associate, University of Minnesota Libraries
  • Cate Cooney, Exhibit Assistant, TPS-UArts Program Consultant
  • Ofelia Ferrán, Associate Professor, Department Spanish and Portuguese Studies
  • Rafael Tarrago, History, Iberian, Ibero-American & Chicano Studies Librarian

Exhibit Designer

Darren Terpstra

Co-Sponsoring Departments and Groups

  • The University of Minnesota Libraries
  • The Spanish and Portuguese Research Group (SPRG)
  • Department of German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch
  • Department of Art
  • Communication Studies
  • Geography
  • Iberian Studies Initiative
  • Global Studies
  • German and European Studies
  • Imagine Grant

And a special thanks to University of Minnesota Art History Professor Emeritus, Gabe Weisberg, for serving as the exhibition’s advisor to ensure accurate scholarship and curatorial expertise.

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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