Library Exhibit Highlights Power of Editorial Cartoons

September 17, 2008

by Jaime Bates, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Editorial cartoons have played a key role in many historical events in America. For decades, they have brought the political concerns of the public to life in the black-and-white print of the newspaper.

Baylor University's W.R. Poage Legislative Library will celebrate the talents of some of America's top editorial cartoonists with several events in conjunction with the exhibit "Drawing Power: Original Editorial Cartoons."

On Thursday, Sept. 18, the library will host an opening reception for four legendary Texas editorial cartoonists from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Moody Memorial Library Allbritton Foyer.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet editorial cartoonists Ben Sargent (Austin American-Statesman), Dan Foote (Dallas Times-Herald), Clyde Peterson, aka C.P. Houston (Houston Chronicle) and Bill DeOre (Dallas Morning News). More than 100 editorial cartoons created by 18 cartoonists will be on display throughout Moody, Jones and Poage libraries. In addition to refreshments, several Baylor students will provide complimentary caricature drawings for guests.

Following the reception, the cartoonists will take part in an open forum sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in room 100 of the Marrs McLean Science Building.

As part of The Emmy Parrish Lecture Series in American Studies, Ben Sargent, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, will present a multi-media lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Moody Library, Garden Level.

"Why we study editorial cartoons in the history of journalism classes is the same reason we study them the ethics of journalism classes - through the use of fresh, uncomplicated (but at the same time profound) imagery, the artist journalist shines a light on the darkness," said Robert Darden, associate professor of journalism at Baylor, who wrote his master's thesis on Texas editorial cartoons and cartoonists. "The editorial cartoonist may use pre-existing political symbolism or create new images. He or she may skewer the mighty or uplift the down-trodden. But, in a perfect world, the editorial cartoonist enables the newspaper reader to see, with a sharp, sudden shock of recognition the implications beyond the daily news."

The reception, panel discussion and lecture are all free and open to the public. The "Drawing Power" exhibit will run through Dec. 20.

For more information, contact the Poage Library at (254) 710-3540.