Political Cartoon Exhibit Featured at the Benjamin Harrison Home

Ever wonder why Elephants and Donkey play such a crucial role in American politics, or who Uncle Sam and Miss Columbia really are? The President Benjamin Harrison Home answers these questions and more with their new exhibit. “Campaigns and Cartoons: Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion, 1862-1912” delves into the origins of many popular American icons initial created to persuade the public one way or another. Indianapolis history and United States history come to life year round at the President Benjamin Harrison Home in Indianapolis downtown.

With more than 100 original sketches and published political cartoons, Indianapolis’ President Benjamin Harrison’s home presents a unique glimpse into Americana as it formed. The Honorable Judge Julian C. Ridlen and Susanne S. Ridlen generously and graciously share their elaborate collection of cartoons with the Circle City this Winter in “Campaigns and Cartoons: Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion, 1862-1912.” The collection of work explores the artists who produced and popularized such figures as Uncle Sam, Miss Columbia, the Democrat’s donkey and the Republican’s elephant. Watch the American political system evolve in the same vein as a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

During the fifty year span that this exhibit focuses on, political sketches and cartoons held a major sway on the mindset of the majority. Political cartoons were the best way to cleverly gather proponents and create opposition to political enemies. During this time, technological advancements in print media grew the industry to record proportions. With a newly expanded readership, political cartoonists played on the American sense of humor to rule the political system.

From Harper’s Weekly to Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, American readership feasted on images of Grant and Lee, Lincoln and McClellan, battle scenes, officers and leaders. These figures became, for the first time, instantly recognizable among the larger public. See the artistry and wit of cartoonist such as Thomas Nast, Matthew Morgan, Joseph Keppler, Bernard Gillam and many more.

Admission to this ongoing Indianapolis event is free and included in the tour of the President Benjamin Harrison Home. The exhibit will be on display from this Friday, November 20 through Wednesday, December 30. For more information about the President Benjamin Harrison Home, including hours and directions, visit its official website.

Celebrate the history of Indiana in the home of the 23rd President of the United States of America. A true Hoosier at heart, Harrison holds rank among Indianapolis’ most notable people. See his home transformed into one of the most interesting Indianapolis museums. Indianapolis kids will marvel at the history of this fun thing to do in Indianapolis. Show them the origins of the Funny Pages with this special Indianapolis art exhibit. Time is limited, so do not delay!

“Campaigns & Cartoons: Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion, 1862-1912”
November 20 through December 30

President Benjamin Harrision Home
1230 N Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202