Traveling Exhibit

Campaigns & Cartoons: The Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion

traveling-1The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is offering the travel exhibit Campaigns and Cartoons, the Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion from the collection of Julian and Sue Ridlen.

Thirty-six original sketches and published political cartoons will examine the evolution of the art form and the lives of noted artists who produced and popularized such symbols as Uncle Sam, Miss Columbia, and even the donkey and the elephant, the icons by which the two major parties are known today.

The exhibit focuses upon an era during which the political cartoon maintained a unique role in political persuasion. It represents a time when technological advancement in the print media resulted in a vastly expanded readership, and a period devoid of conflicting and competing forms of media communication that mark the electronic age.

The opinion of the publishers was from time-to-time injected in the form of caricature, and in the post Civil War years, the political cartoon came of age. Led by Thomas Nast and his unrelenting attack in Harper's Weekly upon the corrupt Democratic "Boss" Tweed and Tammany Hall, and by Nast's efforts to reelect President Ulysses S. Grant, cartooning quickly proved to be a powerful tool in shaping public opinion.

Nast, at Harper's, and Matthew Morgan, at Leslie's, were soon joined by Joseph Keppler, Bernard Gillam and a host of others, drawing in a lighter, more satirical vein for newspapers and in an explosion of color for Puck and Judge, magazines that came of age with the development of chromolithography.

  • 36 framed original cartoons
  • 5 graphics (one introductory and four informational)
General Requirements
  • Skilled exhibit staff for install/de-install
  • Standard Facilities Report
  • 500 to 800 square feet
Exhibit Rental Fees
  • $800.00 for 2 months ($300 deposit required with signed contract)
  • $1200.00 for 4 months ($500 deposit required with signed contract)
  • Actual shipping costs (1 crate 32 1/2" x 59" x 27 1/2" 300lb)
  • Insurance during exhibit run and while en route to next site
Supporting Materials
  • Electronic label panels for each cartoon
  • Electronic copy of brochure that can be modified for your location
  • Exhibit installation instructions
Available Dates
  • Please contact us for available dates

For more information please contact the curator at 317.631.1888 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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“An American citizen could not be a good citizen who did not have a hope in his heart.” ~ Benjamin Harrison

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