2010.09.23 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comic and Superhero Art is Focus of New Library Exhibition
Omaha - A Selection from Comics, Heroes, and American Visual Culture is now on display at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Criss Library H. Don and Connie J. Osborne Family Gallery, featuring nearly 40 works of comic and superhero art drawn from the Dan F. and Barbara J. Howard Collection of American Popular Art.
This collection, along with a significant research library, was donated to the Sheldon Museum of Art through the University of Nebraska Foundation in 2000. Criss Library will host a reception for the exhibition, featuring speaker Dan F. Howard, on Friday, Oct. 1, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
The exhibition runs through Thursday, Oct. 21.
Although cartoons and caricatures have played an important role in Western culture since the Middle Ages, the development of the comic strip is a unique American phenomenon and has contributed significantly to American visual culture, including the development of high art in the United States. Comics, Heroes, and American Visual Culture traces the development of comic art, from early 20th-Century, full-panel works through the development of the comic book, and later, to the graphic novel.
Featured comic strip art includes the work of such important early strips as Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. The exhibition shows the development of the so-called adventure strip, pioneered by Roy Crane in the 1930s with Wash Tubbs and continued by Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates. Also included are such favorites as Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie, Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy and Walt Kelly’s Pogo.
An additional focus of the exhibition is the seminal contribution of the superhero to a major comic art genre, the comic book. Freed from the daily and Sunday newspaper, these self-contained publications featured such memorable larger-than-life characters as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Captain Midnight and the Spirit, among many others. Emerging from Roy Crane’s adventure strips of the ’30s, the superhero came to embody the values of an American society blossoming into a world of power. This exhibition features comic strips and original paintings by the most important creators and illustrators of this genre, including Will Eisner, Alex Ross, Joe Shuster and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Throughout his career, Dan F. Howard has been both a dedicated art teacher-administrator and a gifted professional artist. He chaired the Departments of Art at Arkansas State University, Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Howard has received 100 prizes, awards and honors including the top awards in the three longest running national open painting competitions: Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida.; Butler Institute, Youngstown, Ohio; and Chautauqua Institution, New York.
The Omaha World-Herald has acknowledged Howard as “Nebraska’s leading award-winning artist.” His work is a part of more than 600 public, private and corporate collections including Hallmark Cards, West Law Publishing, United Airlines, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (3M), Holiday Inn, Pepsi Cola, Riceland Foods, Sheraton Hotels, Con Agra and numerous others.
A Selection from Comics, Heroes, and American Visual Culture was organized by the Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Visit library.unomaha.edu or call (402) 554-3206 for more information.
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