"Thomas Nast and the Invention of the Modern Political Cartoon"

Mar 9, 2016

On this edition of ST, we offer a discussion of the life and work of Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who is commonly thought of as "the father of American political cartooning." Highly influential in his time and still admired by artists, columnists, writers, and cartoonists today, Nast might be best known for his work -- done before, during, and after the Civil War -- for Harper's Weekly. He also, quite famously, created the modern illustrated version of Santa Claus...as well as the elephant as a symbol for the G.O.P. Our guest is Dr. Fiona Deans Halloran, a Nast expert, who will give a free-to-the-public lecture -- entitled "Thomas Nast and the Invention of the Modern Political Cartoon" -- tomorrow night, Thursday the 10th, at 7pm in Tyrrell Hall on the TU campus. Dr. Halloran, the author of "Thomas Nast: The Father of Modern Political Cartoons," speaks with us about Nast's origins and ambitions as both an artist and journalist, and about some of the key contradictions within his own life -- such as how he was a German immigrant who routinely attacked immigrant communities throughout New York, as well as a supporter of civil rights who often portrayed black people as fools or simpletons in need of guidance. Also, please note: You can see examples of Nast's cartoons at an exhibit now on view at the Zarrow Center for Art and Education in the Brady Arts District. This show, "The Art of Politics: American Political Cartoons," will be on view through April 27th -- and both the exhibit and Dr. Halloran's lecture are being co-presented by the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities here at TU.