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January 11, 2006

French Cartoonist Jean Plantu to Discuss "The Editorial in Cartoons" on Jan. 23

Jean Plantu, France’s leading political cartoonist, will discuss and demonstrate editorial cartooning and talk about its significance in today’s media at the Library of Congress at noon on Monday, Jan. 23, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, titled "The Editorial in Cartoons," is sponsored by two divisions in the Library of Congress, the European and Prints and Photographs, and by the Alliance Française de Washington. It is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Plantu (a pseudonym of Jean Plantureux) has produced nearly 20,000 cartoons in his 34-year career. The French daily newspaper Le Monde published his first cartoon in 1972. Since 1985 his cartoons have appeared on a daily basis on the front page of Le Monde, and since 1991 they have appeared in L’Express, a weekly news magazine.

Plantu’s art takes on politics, politicians, policy and the media in France and around the world. His signature mouse, which figures in most of his drawings, expresses the artist’s own view of the events he depicts. Plantu studied drawing at Ecole de Saint-Luc in Brussels, a school first popularized by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, creator of Tintin. A prolific author, Plantu has published 40 books, primarily compilations of his work in LeMonde and L’Express.

In addition to drawing, Plantu is accomplished in the art of caricature sculpture. His work has been exhibited worldwide, at the Musée Carnavalet, France’s museum devoted to the history of Paris (2003), and in France’s National Assembly in 2004. In 2005 Plantu’s work was exhibited in Egypt, first at the Library of Alexandria and then in Cairo. The exhibit continues to Beirut in 2006.

The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division holds and makes accessible comprehensive collections of cartoon art, which span four centuries and range from 17th century Dutch political prints to contemporary caricatures by David Levine. This vast array of graphic art includes drawings for cartoons and comic strips, printed satires and caricatures and illustrated satirical journals. Through the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, the Library also provides support for one of the few scholarly fellowships in the field. For further information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/print.

The Library’s European collections, especially strong in history, literature and the social sciences, are held in the general and special format collections. The French, German and Russian collections, estimated at 3.5 million volumes in the general collections, are the strongest among the European collections. The primary role of the division is to enhance the Library’s European collections through collection development and to assist in their use and interpretation. For further information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/european.

The Alliance Française is the largest network of French language and cultural centers in the world. The Alliance Française of Washington, D.C., a non-profit cultural and educational association, headed by a Franco-American board of directors, offers a wide variety of courses, social activities and cultural events.

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PR 06-011
01/11/06
ISSN 0731-3527

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