CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Those Jingoistic, Nationalistic, Patriotic Cartoons

From World War I to the War on Terror, Cartoons Have Served as Propaganda, Entertainment, and Political Tools

Cartoonists are propagandists and satirists, artists and writers. They make us laugh—in recognition and shame—and enrage and offend. At an “Open Art” event co-presented by the Getty in conjunction with the Getty Research Institute exhibition “World War I: War of Images, Images of War,” the many roles cartoonists play and have played over the past century were discussed and dissected. The Getty’s Nancy Perloff, a co-curator of the exhibition, showed the crowd at the American Film Institute a selection of cartoons from World War I that appeared in satirical journals, posters, and prints. The purpose of these cartoons was to elevate a particular culture and denigrate the enemy, said Perloff. The most widely satirized figure of the war was Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German emperor. But how he was depicted differed from country to country. Perloff showed one image by …