May 27, 1999 Swann Foundation Announces Fellow for 1999-2000

Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, announces that it has selected Stephen Kercher, a Ph.D. candidate in History and American Studies from Indiana University, to receive its 1999-2000 Swann Foundation Fellowship.

Mr. Kercher's dissertation, The Limits of Irreverence: Irony and Satire in American Culture, 1950-1964, explores American cartooning during the Cold War Era and includes an analysis of the work of such luminaries as Herblock, Walt Kelly, Bill Mauldin, Al Capp, and Robert Osborn. The Library boasts the largest existing collection of American political prints and drawings, including original works by all of these cartoonists and many of their contemporaries.

In the interest of increasing awareness and extending documentation of Library of Congress collections, Mr. Kercher is required to make use of the Library's collections, be in residence for at least two weeks during the award period and deliver a public lecture on his work-in-progress at that time.

The overall quality of submissions so impressed the Swann Foundation Board's Fellowship Committee that they decided to offer two smaller stipends, one to Sarah F. Meng, a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Case Western Reserve University for her dissertation, Caricature and Artistic Identity: Peggy Bacon, and the other to Sarah Parsons, a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the University of California at Santa Barbara for her dissertation, The Arts of Abolition: Enlightenment, Agitation and Representation in Britain, 1765-1807.

New York advertising executive Erwin Swann (1906-1973) established the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon in 1967. An avid collector, Swann assembled a large group of original drawings by four hundred artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in the 1970s. Mr. Swann's original purpose was to compile a collection of original drawings by significant humorous and satiric artists, and to encourage the study of original cartoon and caricature drawings as works of art.

The Foundation's support of research and academic publication is carried out in part through a program of fellowships. The Swann Foundation awards one fellowship annually (with a stipend of $15,000) to assist ongoing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, is guided by an advisory board composed of scholars, collectors, cartoonists, and Library of Congress staff members. Its activities support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world. Applications for the academic year 2000-2001 are due on February 15, 2000.

More information is available through the Swann Foundation's Web site:, by e-mail:, or by calling Sara Duke at (202) 707-9115.


PR 99-079
ISSN 0731-3527