Friday, 12 October 2012

'Savaged! The Cartoon Colony' exhibition

The new exhibition at the Turnbull Gallery is 'Savaged! The Cartoon Colony', which runs from 1st October to 24th November, at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna o Mātauranga O Aotearoa in Wellington.

The exhibition celebrates the NZ Cartoon Archive’s 20th anniversary by showing 20 of the cartoons acquired by the Alexander Turnbull Library before 1992.

Created between 1769 and 1907, the illustrations bear strong similarities to current political cartoons, despite reflecting century-old cultures.

On show are cartoons about emigration, settlement and colonial activities, politics and culture. Some of the cartoons portray racial characterisation of the time, which make uncomfortable viewing today. Several cartoons are by famous artists such as Augustus Earle, Charles Heaphy and Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky.

Ref: William Hone. The political house that Jack built. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. London: Hone, 1820
On a similar note, the Sir George Grey Special Collections at Central City Library held an exhibition entitled 'Joking Aside' earlier this year, which heavily featured cartoons from the collections. Read the blog post about this exhibition and view the exhibition highlights.

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