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UW Libraries Exhibit Highlights Vintage Political Cartoons From Turbulent Times

Political cartoons reflect the mood of the times. That’s apparent in a new exhibit at the University of Washington Libraries.

On display in Special Collections  are the drawings of the late Northwest editorial cartoonist Howard Fisher, whose work for the Oregon Journal spanned the period just after World War I to the mid-1950s. His cartoons, which cover the rise of fascism, World War II  and the early days of the Cold War, were syndicated in newspapers across the country.

University of Washington Libraries Special Collections curator Lisa Oberg says it's rare for UW Libraries to have the opportunity to aquire such an extensive body of work.

There are more than 400 individual Fisher drawings. About 40 at a time will be on exhibit.

Oberg says the breadth of Fisher's work gives viewers a sense of how major world events played out over time during some of the most tumultuous decades of the 20th century .

For example, Oberg says, Fisher shows America's indifference to Hitler in the years leading up to World War II.

Oberg says you also notice the rhetoric following World War II, when America talked about helping other countries to "make the world safe for democracy."

"And you see less of the isolationism that we’re experiencing right now,” Oberg said.

The UW Libraries Special Collections exhibit runs through Oct. 15 in the Allen Library South Basement on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.