Library of Congress possesses a large collection of original cartoon
drawings, comic strips, caricature, and illustrations that are one
means of documenting the United States' social, economic, political
and technological change over many decades--as the curator expressed
it, "a daily diary of American life." This exhibition
of selected works from their collection was created to commemorate
the 100th anniversary of the comic strip.
The architectural space presented problems,
as the exhibition was to be installed in the lobby of the Madison
Building, which is a main circulation area for Library of Congress
employees as well as for the general public; and the budget was
limited. We met these challenges by using an existing exhibit wall
system, divided into thematic areas ("Humor" "Adventure"
"Romance"etcetera) designated by bold graphics inspired
by various visual conventions of the comic strip. We created a series
of large colorful banners, featuring oversize cartoon character
portraits, that were suspended over the exhibition, helping to direct
the visitor's attention to the exhibition, to define the exhibition
space, and to create an appropriately lively atmosphere.