Explore the history of political cartoons at the Old State Capitol’s new exhibit opening July 5

Scathing social commentary, unmatched wit and playful illustration—these have long been the cornerstones of the distinctly American art form of political cartoons. Now, you’ll be able to explore it in all of its glory at the Old State Capitol’s new exhibit, “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons.” The exhibit highlights cartoons from the so-called “Golden Age” of print journalism (the first half of the 20th century), featuring the work of six Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists, among other acclaimed artists in the medium.

Through the work displayed at the exhibit, curators aim to convey the social and political climate of the time through deceptively simple yet biting editorial cartoons. Some examples of the topics touched on include World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, presidential elections and more. In such a tumultuous era, it stands to reason that political cartoonists of the time played such an important role in the lives of average Americans.

The work of local political cartoonist Walt Handelsman

While the exhibit officially opens this Thursday, its free opening reception will take place Wednesday, July 11, at 5:30 p.m. Here, attendees will be treated to a talk by local political cartoonist Walt Handelsman.

To experience “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons” for yourself, visit the exhibit at the Old State Capitol between July 5 and Sept. 29. For more info on the museum’s hours of operation and admission, visit its website.