University of Va. holds largest collection of cartoonist's art - Albuquerque Journal

University of Va. holds largest collection of cartoonist’s art

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – After several years of negotiations, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville was gifted about 7,000 political cartoons and other art by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and Santa Fe resident Pat Oliphant in 2018.

“It really amounted to kind of a time capsule of Pat’s work from the … late ’60s until the last drawing he did in 2014,” said university professor Elizabeth Hutton Turner, in a recent telephone interview.

That makes the university the largest repository of his work and his professional papers “and all the elements relating to his career in America and some of the work (including) the scrapbooks his father kept when he worked in Australia,” said Hutton Turner, whose specialty is American and modern art.

Hutton Turner and Molly Schwartzburg, curator of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the university are both friends of Oliphant and his wife, Susan Conway Oliphant, and worked with the couple to acquire the collection.

The library, where the works are held, introduced the collection in a public exhibition which the Oliphants attended and it included a symposium suggested by Oliphant on the future of political cartoons.

“He is very passionate on the future of the genre,” said Schwartzburg.

Conway Oliphant has been working to create a database of her husband’s work, which she estimates could be 15,000 to 20,000 drawings.

“To have a digitized record of that and to make it searchable and researchable and have images associated with every entry and to be able to search it by date and by theme, by subject, it’s an immense resource,” said Hutton Turner.

Hutton Turner spoke of the “line” in Oliphant’s work, which is defined as being able to craft an illustration using strokes of different angles and weights.

“I think Patrick Oliphant is a national treasure,” said Hutton Turner. “His prodigious talent and his amazing skill at drawing, the way he is able to carry our mind and our thoughts in a way that really does cut through a lot of the confusion to bring forward something so clear and so beautiful, I mean there is such fluidity in his line.”

In addition to the cartoons, the collection includes his sculptures – many of presidents – and works on paper, letters, fan mail and hate mail.

“The collection really will provide biographers and other scholars with the core material to understand Oliphant’s impact on the culture,” said Schwartzburg.

The academic interest in Oliphant’s work goes beyond his artistic talent, said Hutton Turner.

“Not only because he is a terrific artist, a terrific draftsman, a terrific caricaturist, satirist and of course journalist, it’s also that his commentary is a marvelous resource, primary resource for those studying the history of the presidency, studying the history of American elections, studying various issues like that.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » University of Va. holds largest collection of cartoonist’s art


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NM expands help with filling court forms
ABQnews Seeker
Court-scribe program helps people understand and ... Court-scribe program helps people understand and complete documents
2
The PED is asking for feedback on its new ...
ABQnews Seeker
Proposed are several rule changes to ... Proposed are several rule changes to implement the system, known as micro-credentials
3
A DEADLY YEAR
ABQnews Seeker
Montaño shooting marks record 115th homicide ... Montaño shooting marks record 115th homicide in city
4
Spelling bee competitors master craft one word at a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Favorite books help bee competitors get ... Favorite books help bee competitors get ready
5
PNM struggles with rising fuel cost issues
ABQnews Seeker
But customer fuel prices are expected ... But customer fuel prices are expected to decrease significantly in January
6
Santa Fe Opera wins international recognition as 'Festival of ...
ABQnews Seeker
The International Opera Awards named the ... The International Opera Awards named the artistic nucleus just north of Santa Fe 'Festival of the Year' at a ceremony in Madrid, Spain.
7
Talking Grammer, Ep. 55: UNM Lobo coach Richard Pitino
ABQnews Seeker
In episode 55 of the podcast, ... In episode 55 of the podcast, we catch up with UNM Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino on what has been a unique first month ...
8
Pearce wins reelection as NM GOP chairman through 2024
2022 election
Fends off 4 challengers with 55% ... Fends off 4 challengers with 55% of votes cast
9
Rain can't stop the twinkling lights
ABQnews Seeker
ABQ's annual Twinkle Light Parade puts ... ABQ's annual Twinkle Light Parade puts a shine on Central Avenue, Nob Hill