April 6, 2004 Drawings By Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist Ann Telnaes to Be Featured In Exhibition at the Library of Congress

Public Contact: Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115; Harry Katz (202) 707-8696
Contact: View the exhibition online.
Contact: Bibi Martí (202) 707-1639

The work of Ann Telnaes, a leading editorial cartoonist and the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in her field, will be featured in a special exhibition, "Humor's Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes," which opens Thursday, June 3, in the Great Hall of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will run through Sept. 4, 2004.

The exhibition will consist of approximately 60 original drawings donated to the Library by Ann Telnaes, whose striking, streamlined style enhances her pointed commentary on national and international issues. Harry Katz, exhibition co-curator and head curator of the Library's Prints and Photographs Division, observes that "there are very few artists in the editorial field who are able to unify their message and image in the way that Ann Telnaes does." Exhibition co-curator Martha Kennedy emphasizes, "Telnaes is one of the few women who work in the highly competitive arena of editorial cartooning, and she creates some of the boldest, hardest-hitting political cartoons today." Other distinguished cartoonists whose work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Library of Congress include Jules Feiffer, Herbert Block, Al Hirschfeld and Pat Oliphant.

A resident of Washington's Capitol Hill, Telnaes has made generous gifts of drawings to the Library's Prints and Photographs Division in the past. Cartoons in the exhibition were selected from these gifts and include examples of recent and early political cartoons, her Pulitzer Prize-winning work and her drawings for the popular comic strip "Six Chix," which she produces with five other women. Using minimal text, spare composition and bold forms enlivened with telling detail, Telnaes creates distinctive images that forcefully convey political content.

Telnaes works independently, distributing her cartoons through Tribune Media Services. Her cartoons appear regularly in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other leading newspapers. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for a group of cartoons that focused mainly on the problematic presidential election of 2000.

As a woman, and as one of the few editorial cartoonists not affiliated with a newspaper in the 80 years the award has been given, Telnaes is doubly unusual among Pulitzer winners. Her other honors include Best Cartoonist at the Population Institute XVII Global Media Awards (1996); Best Editorial Cartoonist at the sixth annual Environmental Media Awards (1996); the National Headliner Award for Editorial Cartoons (1997); the Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood (2002); and the Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation (2003).

Pomegranate Communications, in association with the Library of Congress, will publish an illustrated book titled "Humor's Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes," which will contain 87 cartoons, including those in the exhibition; an extensive interview of Telnaes conducted by Harry Katz; a biographical essay on her life and work; artist's sketches; and detailed captions that provide the historical context for each cartoon. The book will be available for sale at the Library's sales shop in the Jefferson Building when the exhibition opens.

The exhibition and an accompanying brochure are funded through the generous support of the Caroline and Erwin Swann Memorial Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. The Swann Foundation showcases the collections of the Library of Congress in rotating exhibitions and promotes the continuing Swann Foundation program in the study of cartoon, caricature and illustration, while also offering a provocative and informative selection of works by artists from the past and present.

For more information about the exhibition and related programming, contact Martha H. Kennedy, exhibition co-curator and curatorial assistant at (202) 707-9115, or Harry Katz, head curator and exhibition co-curator at (202)707-8696, e-mail [email protected], or visit the Swann Web site at www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/swannhome.html.


PR 04-071
ISSN 0731-3527