Library of Congress Exhibit to Highlight Women Cartoonists and Illustrators

Grace Drayton for Campbell's Soup

Grace Drayton for Campbell’s Soup

Following this summer’s comics pop-up exhibit Library of Awesome, the Library of Congress will once again put the spotlight on sequential art next month with “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists,” a long-term exhibit featuring nearly 70 original works by artists including Grace Drayton, Sue Coe, Roz Chast, and Raina Telgemeier.

The free exhibit in the Graphic Arts Galleries of the Library’s Jefferson Building will be on display for nearly a year, from Nov. 18, 2017 through Oct. 20, 2018. An online version will also be available at beginning Nov. 18. The Library’s press release describes the progression of the exhibit, which will be divided into seven sections:

The selected works drawn from the Library’s extensive collections highlight the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, addressing such themes as evolving ideals of feminine beauty, new opportunities emerging for women in society, changes in gender relations and issues of human welfare. “Drawn to Purpose” demonstrates that women, once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery to share with growing, appreciative audiences.

A companion book by “Drawn to Purpose” curator Martha H. Kennedy will also be released in conjunction with the exhibit. Featuring over 240 works from the collection, the book will be for sale in the Library’s gift shop as well as online.

The Graphics Arts Galleries are located on the ground floor of the Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. During its run, the exhibit will be open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

While we’re waiting for opening day, aficionados of sequential art by women can also pick up a copy of CBLDF’s own book She Changed Comics, which focuses on creators and editors who pushed the boundaries of free expression in the field.

Help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work in 2017 by visiting the Rewards Zonemaking a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!

Contributing Editor Maren Williams is a reference librarian who enjoys free speech and rescue dogs.