Drawing the Line in Editorial Cartoons

Three Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists will present a symposium on the state of editorial cartoons in the James A. Michener Art Museum’s new Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion October 14. Tony Auth, Jules Feiffer and Joel Pett will examine the state of the art form as we head into the homestretch of the presidential election.

To Stir, Inform and Inflame: The Art of Tony Auth is on view through October 21. “This is a critical time for the editorial cartoonist – as with all journalists, the job description is undergoing a sea change as the internet takes over the traditional media,” says Guest Curator David Leopold. “What does it mean when the thought and reflection that goes into a daily cartoon – a short enough time frame as is – has to adjust to a medium updated every few minutes?”

Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer Prize- and Oscar-winning cartoonist, playwright and screenwriter. Feiffer’s eponymous cartoon appeared for 42 years in The Village Voice, and was syndicated to a wide variety of Sunday papers. He also has the distinction of being the first opinion-editorial page cartoonist employed by The New York Times, a post he held from 1997 to 2000. In addition to his cartoons, Feiffer has written Tony-nominated plays such as Little Murders (1971) and Knock Knock (1976), and screenplays for Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Popeye (1980). His first animated short film Munro won the 1961 Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoons. Feiffer has written and/or illustrated more than 20 books, including the children’s classic The Phantom Tollbooth.

Joel Pett, the 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning, was also a finalist for journalism’s most prestigious award in 1989 and 1998.

Pett’s work has been reprinted in magazines and newspapers around the countryincluding the Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He is a weekly contributor to USA Today, writes a regular feature on cartoons for the Los Angeles Times, and does a monthly cartoon for the educational journal Phi Delta Kappan. A past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, and a past Pulitzer juror, he has conducted three overseas seminars on editorial cartooning as a guest speaker of the U.S. State Department.

Auth was a fledgling artist from California in 1971 when The Philadelphia Inquirer flew him in for a weeklong job interview as the paper’s editorial cartoonist, and thus began an award-winning legacy of excellence that documents the changing political and cultural landscape of our time. He won one of the paper’s first Pulitzer Prizes in 1976, and among many other awards, the Thomas Nast Prize in 2002 and the Herblock Prize in 2005. He was a Pulitzer finalist again in 2010. After more than 40 years at the Inquirer, Auth joined WHYY/Newsworks.org in March, where his digital works are the subject of the “Behind the Lines” blog. He continues to syndicate his cartoons nationally.

Leopold has organized exhibitions for a wide range of museums including the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library in America; and the Victoria and Albert Museum and Berlin’s Film Museum in Europe.

Drawing the Line: A Symposium on the State of Editorial Cartoons will take place in the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion on Sunday, October 14, 3 to 4:30 pm. Fee: $15 per member/$25 per non-member/$10 per student with valid ID, includes museum admission. Advance registration required.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm;
Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday noon to 5 pm. Admission: Members and children under 6, free; adults $15; seniors $13; college student with valid ID $11; ages 6-18 $7.50; under 6 free. For more information, visit www.michenerartmuseum.org or call 215-340-9800.

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