Brown Hosts Exhibitions of Jewish Comic Book Art

November 10, 2008  |  Media Contact: Deborah Baum |  401-863-2476
Two exhibitions exploring Jewish themes in comics and the ways that Jews shaped this popular American art form are on display at Brown University's John Hay Library and the John Nicholas Brown Center Carriage House Gallery.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Two student-curated exhibitions of comic book art showcasing the work of Jewish artists and exploring Jewish themes will be on display at Brown University’s John Hay Library and the John Nicholas Brown Center Carriage House this fall and winter.

Jews and American Comics: An Exhibition of Popular Art captures the contributions Jewish writers and artists made to comic art since its origin in the Yiddish press of the early 1900s. On display are examples of the art form drawn from the Hay’s collection of more than 70,000 comic books. Artists included in the exhibit include Rube Goldberg, Harvey Kurtzman, Al Capp, Will Eisner, Trina Robbins, and Aline Kominsky Crumb, on display in works from Action Comics to Mad Magazine to the Vault of Horror. The Hay exhibition is open through Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. On Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, the student curators will hold an exhibition open house from 2 to 4 p.m.

Jews and American Comics: The New Generations, at the John Nicholas Brown Center’s Carriage House Gallery, presents images of recent comic book art. It considers the ways the artists address social issues — violence, prejudice, the threat of war, environmental devastation, and media manipulation — as well as issues of individual and collective identity, and Jewish history. Artists in this show include Art Spiegelman, Miriam Katin, Eric Drooker, Sharon Rudahl, and James Sturm. The exhibition runs Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, through Friday, Jan. 30, 2009.

Mel Brooks Yiddish Comedian, written by Joel Schechter and drawn by Spain Rodriguez (2006)Mel Brooks Yiddish Comedian, written by Joel Schechter and drawn by Spain Rodriguez (2006)Both exhibitions are based on work done by students in Paul Buhle’s course, “Jewish Americans: Film and Comics,” with the assistance of John Hay Library curator Rosemary Cullen, public humanities graduate student Leah Nahmias and the staff of the John Nicholas Brown Center.

James Sturm, comic artist and the director of the Center for Cartoon Studies (White River Junction, Vt.), will deliver a keynote address before the exhibition opening, Thursday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001. He will be joined by artists Jason Lutes, a RISD graduate and member of the Center for Cartoon Studies faculty, and by Sara Rosenbaum, a 2000 Brown graduate and membert of the newest generation of comic artists. A reception and exhibit opening will follow immediately at 6:30 p.m. at the John Nicholas Brown Center, 357 Benefit St. Buhle and his students will speak at the reception.

The John Hay Library is located at 20 Prospect St., Providence. The Library is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.Dale Steinberger: The Jewish Cowgirl, written and drawn by R. Crumb (1969)Dale Steinberger: The Jewish Cowgirl, written and drawn by R. Crumb (1969)

The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage is located at 357 Benefit St., Providence. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (401) 863-1177 or e-mail publichumanities@brown.edu.

The exhibition and events are sponsored by the Creative Arts Council, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and the Department of Visual Arts.

 

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.