Monday, April 12, 2010

Art Museum Image Gallery adds historical political cartoons

Art Museum Image Gallery subscribers can now access a total of 571 high-quality images of political cartoon prints from the Library of Congress's American Cartoon Print Filing Series.

This series of images covers the years 1766-1876, taking in a range of topics from pre-revolutionary America through the presidency of Chester A. Arthur. The prevailing theme of the collection is the growth and development of the political process and its role in the governance of the United States. It takes in some of the great events in U.S. history, such as Secession, the Civil War, and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, as well as presidential elections, political scandals and gaffes, and more.

The Library of Congress suggests that the prints in this collection

"were used to advance political candidacies, attack individuals and ethnic groups, cast aspersions, promote ideas, and to introduce symbols, such as the eagle as a national emblem... and Uncle Sam... to a growing population, both literate and illiterate."
Images depict
  • numerous national and regional issues, including slavery, Reconstruction, U.S. economic and monetary policy, and more
  • Abolitionism and Anti-Abolitionism
  • stereotyping of ethnic groups such as Irish-Americans and African Americans, including text mimicking speech patterns
  • the Bank of the United States
  • the Catholic Church
  • the Constitution of the United States
  • Jack Downing (the original symbol of the American people)
  • political campaign symbols
  • tarrifs
This collection promises to be invaluable for researchers in media studies, American studies, U.S. history, political studies, graphic design, art, and art history.

It features etchings, engravings, lithographs, and wood engravings by artists and publishers such as
  • James S. Baillie
  • H. Bucholzer
  • John Childs
  • Edward Williams Clay
  • Currier & Ives
  • Nathaniel Currier
  • John L. Magee
  • Louis Maurer
  • Henry R. Robinson
Like all the other images in Art Museum Image Gallery, the images in this collection are rights-cleared for educational use, so you can use them freely in lessons, presentations, or projects in the classroom.


For more information or to sign up for a free trial of Art Museum Image Gallery, visit our website.

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