Political cartoons have played a key role in people’s understanding of current and historical events.
They are a digestible, but exaggerated, media that conveys the opinion of the cartoonist.
Or, to put it as the Washington Star did in 1948, “cartoonists are clowns tickling the world with the point of their pens.”
UW’s American Heritage Center has a wide breadth of political cartoons within its collections.
One example is the James Berryman Papers.
Berryman and his father were world-renowned cartoon artists that illustrated their animated ideologies for newspapers in Washington, D.C.
The history of presidential campaigns from the 1930s to the 70s can be traced through their cartoons.
James Berryman’s cartoons took special interest in Cold-War tensions and congressional slandering. One cartoon insinuates that Fidel Castro’s beard was flammable and another cartoon jokes about legislative bills getting haircuts.
At UW’s American Heritage Center you can peruse through his sketches and publications in the James Thomas Berryman papers.