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New student-curated online exhibits now available

There are two new digital exhibits in Special Collections, curated by our spring 2021 interns: John T. McCutcheon: A Cartoonist in his Prime, 1930s, curated by Allison Cathey, and The Art of Cartography, Cartes-à-figures, curated by Lily McEwan. Our students have worked very hard over the past semester on these exhibits and now we’re ready to share them with you. Read on below for our interns’ descriptions of their projects. We hope that you enjoy the exhibits!

John T. McCutcheon: A Cartoonist in his Prime, 1930s

by Allison Cathey

My exhibit is formed around American cartoonist John T. McCutcheon and his work during the peak of his career at the Chicago Tribune. The exhibit showcases 11 of the cartoons that MU Digital Library has access to. The others can be found in the John Tinney McCutcheon Collection of Editorial Cartoons in the MU Digital Library or in person at the Special Collections if you wish to use them for further information.

The exhibit is focused on the use of cartoons in the 1930s during which some consider to be the prime years in John T. McCutcheon’s career as a cartoonist. Amidst the economic struggles of the 1930s, McCutcheon brought light to political, social, and economic issues. His ability to cover a variety of subjects showed his versatility and the reason that people refer to him as the American dean of cartooning. Additionally, in the 1930s McCutcheon was awarded an honorary doctoral degree and Pulitzer Prize for his exceptional work. He spent the last years of the decade beginning his autobiography that reflects on his personal and work life. The exhibit includes cartoons pertaining to McCutcheon’s view on: economics, American holidays, global politics, marriage and divorce, automobile crashes, administrative programs, local news, war, technological advancement, and treaty breaking.

The Art of Cartography: Cartes-à-figures

by Lily McEwan

I chose to create the digital exhibit The Art of Cartography: Cartes-à-figures as a passion project for my interest in art history. As a student studying Art History and Anthropology, I loved the hands-on opportunity to conduct research and over the course of the semester have gained valuable interpretive critical-thinking skills. The creative process and the designing element of an exhibit was a new experience that was thoroughly delightful. I have a new appreciation for librarianship and researchers – as there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes.

My favorite aspect of this experience was visiting the reading room! Seeing with my own eyes these wonderfully old and preserved maps has reconfirmed my interest in Art History and preservation work. I am grateful to have this opportunity as it will help prepare me for a life of research. In fact, this summer I will be attending archaeological field school in Pompeii under the direction of Dr. Kate Trusler for a month-long research endeavor in public sanitation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as in Intern for Ellis Library’s Special Collections Department. I am so grateful to have had the experience in digital exhibition research, writing, and publication. I want to thank John Henry Adams, Kelly Hanson, Anne Stanton, and the entire department of Special Collections for assisting with research, guidance, and allowing me to have this opportunity in exhibition research.


John Henry Adams

John Henry Adams is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. He provides instruction and reference for the history of the book in general, but especially for medieval manuscripts, early European printing, the history of cartography, and English and German literature.