Jim Crane Cartoons: Retrospective Exhibit Invites Reflection

Jim Crane Cartoons: Retrospective Exhibit Invites Reflection

The Center for Lifelong Learning currently features an exhibit of the thought-provoking, prophetic cartoons of James G. (Jim) Crane. The work featured in “Jim Crane Cartoons: A Retrospective” addresses issues of theology, morality, ethics and spirituality. The show will remain open through August 14.

“How deeply can you probe into the human condition with little line drawings? I want to find out,” says Crane. “I want to explore as much of the richness of being human as the medium will allow.  I want to push the cartoon to what Tillich might call its religious dimensions.”

The sparse images and words, while seeming simple at first, brilliantly convey his commentary.  Although some cartoons were published more than 50 years ago, they remain astonishingly relevant. On the heels of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the exhibit will give viewers an occasion to reflect upon the evolution of the significance of the cartoon as a medium and of the ongoing dialogue of the impact of editorial cartoons.

Crane’s cartoons were published in the 1950s and ’60s in motive magazine, a Methodist publication that was for years perhaps the most visually interesting, graphically sophisticated, and innovative religious journal in the world. His cartoons became a hallmark of motive, along with drawings, cover designs, illustrations, and an occasional piece of creative writing. They also appeared in Ave Maria magazine and United Church Herald, and were published in four collections: What Other Time (Source Publishers, 1953), On Edge (John Knox Press, 1965), The Great Teaching Machine (John Knox Press, 1966), and Inside Out (Harper & Row, 1967). Crane was recruited to form the art program at Florida Presbyterian (now Eckerd) College in St. Petersburg. He served as the chair of Eckerd’s Visual Arts Department from 1963-1993, and as the first chairman of the college’s Creative Arts Collegium.

The exhibit is displayed on the second floor of the Harrington Center at Columbia Theological Seminary. It is open to the public during regular office hours (8:30 – 4:30 PM, Monday –Friday). The exhibit is arranged through Arthur Skinner, Professor of Visual Arts at Eckerd College. Arrangements to view the exhibit at other times may be made by contacting the Center for Lifelong Learning at 404-687-4577 or lifelonglearning@ctsnet.edu.

For more information, please contact:
Corie Cox
Media and Marketing Coordinator
Center for Lifelong Learning

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