Billy Ireland: 1st Amendment & Ollie Harrington


Front Line: Editorial Cartoonists and the First Amendment

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum has an exhibit showcasing editorial cartoonists praising the first amendment to the Bill of Rights and defending it from attackers.
The exhibit runs until October 20, 2019.


The political cartooning display runs the gamut from a 1774 etching by Paul Revere criticizing Britain’s use of tea as a political weapon to a 2018 cartoon lampooning the blocking of online conservative commentary.

Other cartoons take on political correctness, flag desecration, fake news, campus conduct codes, and the role of Twitter in public discourse.

The exhibit combines drawings contributed by several dozen cartoonists with material from the library’s own collection. Many are from newspapers, but offerings include cartoons from The New Yorker magazine and even ones that first appeared online, on websites such as Politico.

“We focused on editorial cartoonists and the First Amendment partly because American editorial cartoonists are the only ones in the world whose work is protected by an amendment to the federal constitution of the country,” said museum founder Lucy Caswell, who co-curated the exhibit with Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes.

The Associated Press recently reviewed the exhibit.


Also at The Billy Ireland and related to Freedoms and the Bill of Rights…

Ollie Harrington Collection Acquired by Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Best known for his series Bootsie (originally titled Dark Laughter), an African American male who would make pointed criticisms of the world around him, Harrington continued with his work, even after leaving the United States due to the scrutiny he was under by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the early 1950s.

Harrington was a noted scholar as well as an outspoken artist unafraid to confront racism.

Ollie Harrington Collection Acquired by Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.