Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
September 16, 2009 (REVISED September 21, 2009)
Authors Haynes Johnson and Harry Katz to Discuss New Illustrated Volume Honoring Political Cartoonist Herblock on Oct. 15
To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of political cartoonist Herbert Block (Herblock), the Library of Congress and the Herb Block Foundation, in association with W. W. Norton & Company, have published "HERBLOCK: The Life and Works of the Great Political Cartoonist." Authors Haynes Johnson and Harry L. Katz will discuss this retrospective volume work at noon on Thursday, Oct. 15, in Dining Room C, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, the Publishing Office and the Center for the Book.
Arranged chronologically, the book illustrates the influence of history on Herblock’s work as well as his influence on historical events as they unfolded. As a bonus, the book is packaged with a DVD that contains more than 18,000 cartoons.
Born in Chicago on Oct. 13, 1909, Herbert Lawrence Block was a groundbreaking, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose career spanned nearly three quarters of a century and 13 American presidencies. Block began his career as a professional cartoonist in 1929, working for the Chicago Daily News and the Newspaper Enterprise Association Service. In 1946, he joined The Washington Post, where he remained for 55 years, until his death in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7, 2001. Syndicated throughout the country, his cartoons focused on important events of the time—from the stock-market crash in 1929 through the new millennium beginning in 2000—making complex issues seem simple and moral choices clear.
Haynes Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a best-selling author and a television commentator. He has reported on virtually every major national and international news event in the past four decades, including the activities of every President from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. In 1966, Johnson won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished national reporting of the civil-rights struggle in Selma, Ala. Until recently, Johnson was associated with The Washington Post, which he joined in 1969 and where he served as a national reporter, assistant managing editor and a national affairs columnist. He appears regularly on the PBS-TV programs "Washington Week in Review" and "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
Harry Katz is the curator of the Herb Block Foundation Collection in Washington, D.C., and former head curator within the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Katz is the editor of "Cartoon America: Comic Art at the Library of Congress" and has produced books and exhibitions featuring political cartoonists Jules Feiffer, Pat Oliphant, Ann Telnaes and others.
The book accompanies a Library of Congress exhibition titled "Herblock!" featuring 82 original Herblock drawings that have never before been displayed. These works were selected from the Herb Block Foundation’s 2002 gift of the cartoonist’s entire personal and professional archives comprising more than 14,000 finished cartoons and three seminal cartoons on loan from The Washington Post collection. The exhibition is free and open to the public, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Oct. 13, 2009, through May 1, 2010, in the second-floor South Gallery of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition may also be viewed online at www.loc.gov/exhibits/.
"HERBLOCK: The Life and Works of the Great Political Cartoonist," a 304-page hardcover book with more than 250 classic cartoons, is available with the DVD for $35 in bookstores nationwide and the Library of Congress shop, Washington, DC 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at www.loc.gov/shop/.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.
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