September through November, 2006
This exhibit, which was on display in the Rare Book Room, was a contemporary exhibit featuring an extensive collection of political cartoons. Our founding director, Laurence Hoes, was interested in acquiring any and all artifacts relating to James Monroe, and while his collection of political cartoons began with a focus on James Monroe, it quickly grew to encompass all areas of political statement.
The hand-illustrated cartoons made of pencil and ink were matted and presented in their original story-board form, as formatted before being submitted to a newspaper. The political cartoons, which were produced by several different illustrators, commented on a variety of political and social issues ranging from a nineteenth century hurricane that devastated the American east coast, to conflicts such as the First and Second World War.
In addition, several of the showcased cartoons made references to the Monroe Doctrine, often portrayed in the cartoon as Monroe himself, being extended in response to foreign policies such as the American involvement in Vietnam and America’s relations with Mexico in the 1950s and ‘60s. The cartoons are largely satirical in form and offer an interesting insight into the American public’s psyche throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.