See the works of renowned Bethel cartoonist
Artworks by Bethel illustrator Art Young, who was known as the “Dean of American Cartoonists,” will be on display at the Bethel Historical Society’s headquarters starting Friday, March 27. The opening is from 7 to 9 p.m.
Young lived in Bethel from 1904 to 1942 and was the best-known political cartoonist in the country during the early 1900s, according to Marc Moorash, of the historical society.
The exhibit runs through April 26 and will feature 40 original illustrations, many of which are on loan from Young’s descendants, and more than 100 pieces of ephemera, including letters, magazines and books.
The historical society has also released Young’s lost manuscript, the previously unpublished “Types of the Old Home Town” — a collection of small town Americana “types,” many of which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s.
Admission is free to the gallery. Three presentations will be held in relation to the exhibit and admission is also free for those events. Here’s a schedule:
Friday, March 27 — Opening Event – 7 to 9 p.m.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday (closed April 5, gallery open before/after presentations) noon to 5 p.m.
Wednesday – noon to 3 p.m.
Thursday and Friday – 5 to 8 p.m.
“Art Young and His Vision of American Folklore”
Sunday, April 12, 2 p.m.
The Bethel Historical Society recently restored the unpublished manuscript of “Types of the Old Home Town” — a project that Art Young was constantly modifying, illustrating and shopping to publishers in the years before his death in 1943. A collection of characters and caricatures, full of honor and memory for small-town America, Young considered this his greatest achievement in the legacy of Americana life. Join the historical society for an exploration of the images from “Types,” some of the stories behind them, some rarely-seen images, a bit on Young’s family and a celebration of the nearly 40 years the “Dean of American Cartoonists” resided in Bethel, where he built his art gallery. This will be an afternoon full of subtle humor in the way only Young could write.
“Art Young and the American Soldier”
Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m.
Of all the causes that Art Young leant his name to, one of his strongest outcries was against the way veterans were treated upon their return from World War I. From providing artwork for pamphlets such as “Hello Buddy” (which was sold on the street by returning soldiers who could not find work), to hiring an army of veterans to sell his magazine, “Good Morning,” in New York City (for which they received more than a handsome portion of the sales), Young was determined to not let their need go unheeded. While he was staunchly anti-war, especially for what he saw as the monetary reasons behind entering the fray, Young realized that the same interests who lauded the soldiers upon embarking, turned their backs when the boys came back home — and this is not something he could stand by quietly and abide.
”Art Young on Trial for His Life”
Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m.
In 1914, the Associated Press sued Art Young and Max Eastman for libel, for claiming that the AP was covering up the details of the coal miner strike in West Virginia. Realizing that a trial would actually reveal their cover-up, the AP eventually dropped the case. But a couple of years later, Young and three other journalists would be put on trial under The Espionage Act, for speaking up about the government being controlled by the wealthy who wanted the United States to enter World War I. Come see how many of Young’s cartoons from 100 years ago could be published today, with just as much relevance and poignancy.
For more information, visit artyounggallery.org.