Monday, September 26, 2011

Jaleen Grove on Robert Weaver: Sept 29

The discipline of art history has paid modest (scant?) attention to the history of illustration. For the most part, illustration is used as a backdrop: a cultural grounding and visual context for the real art. There's plenty to say about that. Unlike many I tend to see the ideological territory of non-art as quite interesting. Another day.

I'm pleased to say that one of the rising stars of illustration studies is coming to Washington University to speak this Thursday, September 29. Jaleen Grove is a doctoral candidate at SUNY Stonybrook, researching 20th century Canadian illustrators in the American print market as well as other topics. Jaleen has been active as an illustrator as well as an illustration historian, continuing a long tradition of practitioner-historian-theorists in the under-considered fields of cartooning and illustration. (See: examples from Frank King to Art Spiegelman to Seth, illustrated by the the Gasoline Alley strip below, which "cites" Winsor McCay's Little Nemo strip by convention.)

Jaleen will be speaking at Olin Library at 4:30pm this Thursday. (All of my students will be in attendance. Capiche?) Her topic will be the Robert Weaver show curated by Skye Lacerte that I mentioned last week. Anyone with a passing interest in illustration history in the St. Louis region should be there. Jaleen will address Weaver's thoughts on illustration versus fine art in the 1960s. Weaver was a passionate artist who embraced and thought clearly about illustration, yet resisted its ghettoization in visual culture.

Looking forward to seeing Jaleen, and to hearing her talk!

Images: Robert Weaver, spread from Brief Lives, circa 1970; Frank King, Gasoline Alley, circa 1920.

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