We never know what sort of opportunity will present itself to us here at SCPC.
One day in January we received an email out of the blue from Ms. Vera Sevastyanova on behalf of the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Consulate General was developing an exhibition of U.S. political cartoons, and Vera, a former Consulate employee who had arranged such an exhibit previously, was asked to work on another.
The current exhibit is devoted to presidential campaigns from 1980-2012 and will include a variety of drawings by several American cartoonists, including Daryl Cagle and Kevin KAL Kallaugher, as well as older cartoons loaned by the Herb Block Foundation.
The venue is the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg – the largest library in the country.
SCPC was asked if we’d like to contribute some of our political cartoons from the Walt Lardner and Kate Salley Palmer collections, and we are very pleased to participate. We sent twelve cartoon image files along with brief descriptions from which the curators in Russia will be able to create text panels. The cartoons feature Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton among other candidates.
The goal of such projects by the U.S. State Department is to “tell America’s story” to the Russian people in order to enhance the image of the U.S. in Russia. The Consulate has a designated staff member who is in charge of developing relations between American and Russian libraries and librarians. The exhibit is scheduled to open sometime in March or April.