ToonSeum to exhibit seven decades of the nation’s top cartoonists!
The ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art will be exhibiting seven decades’ worth of original art from cartooning’s highest honor, The Reuben Award.
In May of 1947, Milton Caniff became the first artist formally honored by the National Cartoonists Society as the “Cartoonist of the Year.” The trophy was a silver cigarette box, engraved with Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith characters. The Billy DeBeck Memorial Award continued until 1953. The following year, the honor was renamed the “Reuben Award” after Rube Goldberg, who designed the unique statuette that has been handed to some of the greatest cartoonists who have ever lived, including Al Capp, Walt Kelly, Hal Foster, Charles Schulz, Jeff MacNelly, Bill Watterson, Jim Davis, Cathy Guisewite and 50 others since 1946.
The exhibit is a collaboration between the National Cartoonists Society, The ToonSeum and the San Francisco-based Cartoon Art Museum. The exhibit, which is curated by Joe Wos, Andrew Farago and Brian Walker, was put together from the two museums’ collections and pieces from private collectors.
This is the first time in the organization’s history that original art from these legendary artists has been assembled in one exhibition. Rare works seldom seen by the public from artists such as Gary Larson of Far Side, Charles M. Schulz of Peanuts, and many more will be displayed.
The exhibit is part of a celebration of comic and cartoon arts as the National Cartoonists Society brings their annual conference to Pittsburgh for the first time.
“We are honored and excited to bring this one of a kind exhibition to Pittsburgh,” said ToonSeum Executive Director Joe Wos. “In many ways this exhibit is the very reason museums such as the ToonSeum and San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum exist. These are our old masters, pop icons, and true, living legends.”
A special VIP fundraising opening reception will take place on Thursday, May 23rd as part of a weekend-long celebration of the comic and cartoon arts. Information on the VIP event tickets can be found at http://comicvip.eventbrite.com/.VIP tickets also include reserved seating for panel discussions on Sunday, May 26th, a signed limited edition print, meet and greet, and much more!
The ToonSeum’s first annual Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, May 26th, featuring over 70 participating cartoonists. Join the ToonSeum in recognizing their contributions to the cartoon world!
Admission to the ToonSeum is 5 dollars for adults, 1 dollar for children 6-12 and free to children up to age 5.
About the Reuben Awards:
The annual Reuben Awards is often referred to as the “Oscars of Cartooning.” The Reuben Awards weekend is an annual gala event, which takes place at various locations throughout the United States and North America. During the formal, black-tie banquet evening, the profession's highest honor, the Reuben Award, is presented to the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. The Reuben is chosen by a secret ballot of the members. Cartoonists in various professional divisions are also honored with special plaques for excellence, honoring the year's outstanding achievements in all areas of the profession. Excellence in the fields of newspaper strips, newspaper panels, TV animation, feature animation, newspaper illustration, gag cartoons, book illustration, greeting cards, comic books, magazine feature/magazine illustration, online comics, and editorial cartoons are honored in the NCS Division Awards. These awards are voted on by specially formed juries overseen by various NCS Regional Chapters. A cartoonist does not need to be a member of the NCS to receive one of the Society's awards.
Prior to 1983, the Reuben Awards Dinner was held in New York City, usually at the Plaza Hotel. Since then, the event has expanded into a full weekend and is held in a different city each year. Recent Reuben locations have included New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Boston. The 2013 Reuben Awards Weekend is being held in Pittsburgh, PA.