Art & Politics: 300 Years of Political Cartoons

Art has always been intrinsically linked with politics. Nowhere, however, is that link more obvious than in the art of the political cartoon.

Political cartoons convey an artist’s thoughts or opinions on current events, public figures, political questions, and more. The popularity and longevity of political cartoons are a testament to their power as a form of speech.

The biting sarcasm, criticisms, humor, and barbed points found in many political cartoons are often directed at institutions of power, and their creators and publishers rely on First Amendment protections to ensure their legal protection from censorship or government suppression.

For the past 300 years, political cartoons have been an important medium of speech in Western society, and have commented on a wide variety of political or social epochs since Hogarth’s Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme.

It is likely that political cartoons will continue to humor, inspire, critique, and challenge for another 300 years and beyond.

Email us to let us know which political cartoons are your favorite and which, if any, you’d like to see added to this exhibit.

Disclaimer: The political cartoons featured in this exhibition were selected based on their historical importance, artistic merit, or uniqueness. The First Amendment Museum is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse any of the political or social commentary found within the political cartoons featured in this exhibition.

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