Among the recent
acquisitions of the Library of Congress is the world's largest and
most spectacular private collection of original cartoon art. Assembled
over the course of sixty years by J. Arthur Wood, Jr., the Art Wood
Collection of Caricature and Cartoon more than doubles the Library's
existing holdings in this area. A true "Gift to the Nation," it
contains an estimated 36,000 works by more than 2,800 artists, and
includes a comprehensive array of political cartoons, caricatures,
comic strips, humor cartoons, illustrations, and animation cels.
Virtually every aspect of the genre is represented by leading creators,
making the Library's cartoon collections both comprehensive and
unrivaled in the United States.
It is eminently appropriate that Art Wood's collection
be placed at the Library of Congress. At the age of sixteen he worked
for a summer as an elevator boy and hatrack attendant at the Library
for the express purpose of studying the book and periodical collections
relating to caricature and cartoon. He applied the knowledge he
gained that summer well and, after six decades of personal collecting,
the results of that youthful dedication have come full circle.
Housed in the Prints and Photographs Division,
this magnificent acquisition preserves for the nation an astounding
legacy of original graphic art, and establishes the Library as the
premier center for the study of original cartoon art and illustration
in the United States. It has come to the Library of Congress through
a gift-purchase agreement made possible in part by a generous contribution
from H. Fred Krimendahl II, a member of the Library's Madison Council,
funds provided by American taxpayers, and the generosity of Mr.