Cartoonist Brian Walker to make special appearance at the New Canaan Historical Society
Round up the family and don’t miss this one. The New Canaan Historical Society is opening its doors on a Sunday to host a fun-filled family event July 26, at 2:00 pm. Brian Walker is one of the creative team that produces the comic strips Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois. The setting for Hi and Lois resembles Wilton and often features familiar settings such as The Silvermine Market, Cobbs Mill Inn, Orem’s Diner and the now closed but beloved Silvermine Tavern. Not many newspaper readers know that Lois Flagston is Beetle Bailey’s sister.
Walker is going to give a Powerpoint presentation about growing up and working in the cartoon business, and will also field questions and sign books. He has written, edited or contributed to forty books on cartoon art, including the definitive history, The Comics, The Complete Collection, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues and magazine articles.
Brian’s event will be accompanied by a lemonade and cookies reception and an opportunity to view The Cartoonists of Silvermine: Past and Present, the current exhibition in The Historical Society’s Silvermine Gallery. Curator Mary Anne Case will be in the gallery to answer questions. The exhibition includes seventeen Silvermine cartoonists and eighty images, the earliest dating back to 1897, as well as a map created by New Canaan artist Frank Bordonaro that shows where the seventeen cartoonists lived. Gallery goers have had fun discovering that a cartoonist lived in their house or across the street.
Brian Walker and Mary Anne Case were the only two cartoonists of Silvermine Present when Case created the exhibition for the 2012 Silvermine House Tour. Director Janet Lindstrom invited Case to replicate the exhibition at The New Canaan Historical Society. Case was head of the art committee of The New Canaan Library for a number of years in the 1990s. When she lived in Scarsdale she was chair of a project that created a history book (Of Colonists and Commuters) used to teach local history in the Scarsdale schools.
Brian Walker has a diverse background in professional cartooning and cartoon scholarship. He is a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art, where he worked from 1974 to 1992. He taught a course in cartoon history at the School of Visual Arts from 1995 to 1996. He has served as curator for seventy cartoon exhibitions including three major retrospectives, The Sunday Funnies: 100 Years of Comics in American Life, at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 100 Years of American Comics at the Belgian Center for Comic Art in Brussels and Masters of American Comics at the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He was Editor-in-Chief of Collectors Showcase magazine from 1997 to 2000 and is currently the Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.
Walker gave a lively talk about cartooning to an enthusiastic audience and fielded questions during a lemonade and cookies reception three years ago on the lawn of The Silvermine Country Store, after the original exhibition. His talk was directed to a large crowd of adults, kids and perhaps even a dog or two. A good time was had by all. The New Canaan Historical Society is replicating Brian’s successful event as well as the exhibition.
For more information on the cartoon exhibit click here.