Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), Page 16-17


Dublin Core


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), Page 16-17


An article about the New York Cultural Center exhibition for comics.


Joe Brancatelli


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971)




Eva R. Grunewald



75 Years of the Comics come to the
New York Cultural Center for 8 weeks

The comics, a medium which reaches daily
into almost every home in the western world,
will be the subject of a major exhibition at
The New York Cultural Center. The exhibition
which is entitled "75 Years of the Comics,“
opened at the Center (2 Columbus Circle, New
York City, lOOl9) on Wenesday September 8,
for a stay of more than eight weeks, through
Sunday, November 7th. Over 300 examples of
comic art will be on view, Tuesday through
Sunday, ll a.m. to 8 p.m. An extensive, hard
cover volume, 75 Years of the Comics, and
an exhibition poster will accompany the dis-
The New York Cultural Center exhibition
will mark the 75th anniversary of comics,
dating from l896 when 0utcault's Yellow Kid
first appeared in The World in it's defini-
tive version (see tearsheet). Befitting a
cultural phenomenon which has already span-
ned more than three-quarters of a century,
the exhibition of comic artistry will treat
the comics as a unique art form which bears
examination on its own terms, not just an
antecedent of other art movements, notably
pop art. Covering one-half of the museum's
space, or eight galleries, the exhibition
will trace the history of comic art, from
its beginnings in Europe and then in the Un-
ited States in the late l9th century, to
such contemporary manifestations of the form
as the "underground" comix of l97l.
The works in the show were selected by
Maurice Horn (editor of the upcoming Spirit
iMagazine), noted authority on comic<art, and
the author of several books on the subject.
Mr. Horn, the consultant on the exhibition,
noted "The New York Cultural Center present-
ation will be the largest, the most compre-
hensive and the most universal ever attempt-
ed on the subject."
All of the media in which the comics have
ever been reproduced will be represented.
There will be a number of pieces of original
art, tearsheets from newspaper strips, act-
ual pages from magazines and books, as well
as reproductions from all of these media.
The works of over one-hundred and thirty
cartoonists, from the United States and all
over Europe will be included. Such strips as
Windsor McCay's Little Nemo, George Herri-
man's Krazy Kat, and Burne Hogarth's Tarzan,
were selected primarily for their excellen-
ce of conception and execution. Others, in-
cluding Sidney Smith's The Gumps, H.C. "Bud"
Fisher's Mutt and Jeff, and Superman by Jer-
ry Siegal and Joe Shuster, were chosen be-
cause of their social and historical impor-
tance in the development of the form.
The exhibition is broadly organized into
5 historical categories: The Heroic Period:
‘the comics‘ origin from the l8th to the ear-
liest 20th century; The Great Tradition: hu-
mor, the basic staple of the medium which
reached its heyday in the twenties and early
thirties; Man and Superman: the adventure-
strip, the most significant development of
the thirties and forties; The Current Scene:
the sophisticated and intellectual comic
strips of the fifties, and the new features
in the sixties; The Faraway and Farout: the
European comics of the last two decades and
the emergence of the underground comix.
The above catagories are taken from a
hard cover, 120 page volume, 75 Years of the
Comics, to be published by Boston Book and
art Publishers and the New York Cultural Cen
ter this month. The book will serve as the
exhibition catalogue. In addition to the in-
troduction: "What is comic art" by Maurice
Horn, the volume contains full-color illust-
rations of Yellow Kid and Little Nemo on the
front and back covers, and ninety-nine black
and white illustrations of other comics. A
poster, with a black and white reproduction
of the Yellow Kid, specially published by
the center for the exhibition will also be
available. Lectures by several well-known
comics‘ authorities will be held in conjunc-
tion with the show.
In the next issue of Comic Fandom Monthly
we will have a full-fledged review of the
exhibit. In the meantime, try not to miss
the display.
Opposite: Tearsheet from The World, Sunday,
February 16, 1896, showing Richard Felton
0utcault's "The Great Dog Show in M'Googan
Avenue,” one of three hundred works in the
exhibition, "75 Years of the Comics,” at the
New York Cultural Center. This strip is the
historic Yellow Kid,