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Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 3:30 PM

New exhibition, “Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times,” pairs original drawings by editorial cartoonist Herblock with historical and contemporary artists’ prints, drawings and posters that respond to major issues from the 17th century to the present day. 
As a political cartoonist for The Washington Post and other newspapers, Herbert L. Block – who won three Pulitzer Prizes and became known simply as “Herblock” – devoted his 72-year career to creating social commentary through his drawings. The Library houses most of Herblock’s lifework. Key topics that drew Herblock’s attention provide the organizing framework for the exhibition, including civil rights, gender and women’s rights, health, environment, the impact of war, refugees, education and the role of media. In “Art in Action,” Herblock’s cartoons provide a call and response with other socially-engaged artists who have wielded brush, pen, burin and pixel to express their viewpoints and engage with many of the same issues. These juxtapositions underscore how diverse artists across time and place can be kindred spirits in expressing concerns about the world they inhabit.
The exhibition includes depictions of Pablo Picasso and works in the grand, global tradition of political art by such artists as Jacques Callot, Leopoldo Méndez and Francisco de Goya – as well as modern and contemporary American artists including Alexander Calder, Enrique Chagoya, Shepard Fairey, Kerry James Marshall, Juan Fuentes, Favianna Rodriguez and Helen Zughaib, among others.

Contact: 202.707.8000.

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101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540

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