THE WALTERS PRESENTS THE WORK OF WORLD-RENOWNED EDITORIAL CARTOONIST KAL IN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: THE SATIRICAL PEN OF KAL
Experience the high art of satire as illustrated by the local, national
Baltimore—This summer the Walters Art Museum proudly presents Mightier Than The Sword: The Satirical Pen of KAL , on view from June 18 through Sept. 3, with Kevin Kallaugher, a.k.a. KAL, as both artist and guest curator. This survey of over 200 of KAL's works—including caricatures, sculptures and animation—is both timely and extremely relevant to current world affairs. Recently celebrating the culmination of a 17-year stint at The Baltimore Sun and continuing his 27-year career with the Economist , KAL is known throughout the world as a political cartoonist on the front line protecting freedom of expression along with responsible journalism.
“We are very lucky to have such a respected political cartoonist residing right here in Baltimore,” said Walters Director Gary Vikan. “His cutting caricatures are in the grand tradition of such artists as Honoré Daumier and Thomas Nast. We are honored to exhibit KAL's work at the Walters.”
As a great practitioner of the cartooning craft, KAL is one of the most influential political commentators in the United States today. This exhibition will include the cartoons and caricatures for which he is renowned as well as some lesser-known works. It will feature cartoons illustrating local, national and international political satire and cover a broad range of social issues to which he is committed. Additionally, an interactive educational section of the exhibition will allow the public to learn about caricature and cartoon development as well as participate in the creative process.
“Almost ten years ago to the day, I partnered with the Walters on the exhibition Worth A Thousand Words , and I am very happy to be collaborating again with the museum on the first exhibition reviewing my cartoons, caricatures and new 3-D animations,” said KAL. “This show will revisit over 20 years of politics in not only Baltimore and the U.S. but also around the world.”
A smaller version of KAL's Maryland political cartoons will travel to the Mansion at Strathmore and be on view Sept. 14–Nov. 6, 2006.
About the Exhibition
The exhibition is split into nine themes including the interactive gallery. The topics are: Caricatures , Maryland , The World , Campaigns & Conventions , America , 9/11 and Beyond , World in Turmoil and KAL's Favorites & New Work .
KAL has developed a love/hate relationship with presidents, governors and mayors, regardless of their political inclinations. “Commanding a masterful style, Kallaugher stands among the premier caricaturists of the [twentieth] century,” said The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons in 1999. His caricatures break down the faces of his subjects to their individual components and reassemble them at will, creating a window into their personalities—especially their weaknesses. Caricature highlights will include Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Alan Greenspan, Fidel Castro and William Donald Schaeffer, to name just a few.
Local political cartoons will also be prominent. The upcoming Maryland governor's contest is skillfully portrayed in KAL's Governor's Race (Sept. 28, 2005). This cartoon features the three candidates—Robert Ehrlich, Martin O'Malley and Douglas Duncan—each in a demolition derby car at the end of a road ready to start their engines and hurl towards one another to crash at the street's intersection. Other local works will include cartoons of the Ravens as well as touch upon the Maryland slot machine issue.
In addition to craftily depicting local politics, KAL is a master at capturing life-altering international events such as in Sweeping Changes (Feb. 6 1989), which documents the end of Soviet oppression by featuring a woman sweeping away the party cards. In addition, he illustrates the hopes and fears of a nation at a time of great change in The End of Apartheid (Sept. 6, 1989).
When America went through the disaster of 9/11, KAL captured not only the terror and confusion of the times but also the resilience of the United States with an Economist cartoon of the characters of Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty supporting one another while watching the fires burn in Manhattan. Uncle Sam appears in many of KAL's cartoons including Hurricane Katrina (Sept. 7, 2005), which portrays him holding a soaked Katrina victim in front of local and federal governments officials who are all mixed up in a big pile and pointing fingers at each other.
In the aftermath of 9/11, KAL vividly depicted a world in turmoil with works such as Post 9/11 (2003). This cartoon has one soldier saying to another “We are doing everything possible to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqis…” On the back of their tank is a sign saying, “How's my invading? Call customer service at 1-800-shok-awe.”
New works by KAL will be a highlight of the installation. While working as an artist-in- residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, KAL will take a life-size caricature bust of George W. Bush and scan it into a computer. With the help of animators, this new virtual politician will be manipulated like a digital marionette. This new creation can be placed in a real life setting and “interviewed.” KAL believes that this method will become “irresistible as a form of satire.” The bust and a short video of this new ground-breaking animation will be on view.
To encourage visitor participation, the Walters will have an interactive educational gallery at the conclusion of the exhibition. This all-ages space will feature hands-on activities that will enable visitors to have a deeper understanding of KAL's work. Visitors will be able to draw caricatures using KAL's step-by-step instructions, manipulate an interactive timeline to learn about political cartoonists throughout history, step into a life-size cartoon and create caricatures using mix and match magnetic facial elements created by KAL. The space will also include books on caricature and cartooning and a video on political cartoonists.
About the Artist
Kevin Kallaugher's cartoons have appeared around the world in more than 100 publications including Le Monde , Der Spiegel , Pravda , The Australian , The New York Times , Time , Newsweek and The Washington Post . His cartoons are distributed worldwide by the New York Times Syndicate . He has won many awards including the 1999, 2002 and 2005 Thomas Nast Prize from the National Overseas Press Club of America and the 2004 Gillray Goblet from the Political Cartoon Society of Great Britain for cartoon of the year.
He published Drawn from the Economist (1988), KALtoons (1992), KAL Draws a Crowd (1996) and KAL Draws the Line (2000) from his collection of Baltimore Sun cartoons. In May 2006, the new collection, KAL Draws Criticism , will be available at the Walters' Museum Store.
Kallaugher is the former president of the Cartoonists Rights Network, an international humanitarian organization that protects cartoonists from human rights abuses, and past president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
KAL is available for interviews. Contact the Walters' Office of Public Relations at