An Evening with Art Spiegelman
Pulitzer Prize-winning Artist/Illustrator
Author of Maus, In the Shadow of No Towers & Breakdowns
7 – 8 p.m. | Keynote Lecture (Auditorium doors at 6:30 p.m.)
8 – 8:30 p.m. | Q&A with the Audience
Location: Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium (1 Museum Way, Corning, NY)
General Admission: $20 | Students: $10 | Rockwell Members: FREE
Art Spiegelman has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves. In 1992, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative Maus—which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. Maus II continued the remarkable story of his parents’ survival of the Nazi regime and their lives later in America. His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity and controversial content. Art Spiegelman will discuss Maus and its place in current global conversations in this culminating program of The Rockwell’s year of Questioning Identity.
Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, editor, and comics advocate best known for his graphic novel Maus. His work as co-editor on comic magazines Arcade and Raw has been highly influential, and from 1992 he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker.
Having rejected his parents’ aspirations for him to become a dentist, Art Spiegelman studied cartooning in high school and began drawing professionally at age 16. He went on to study art and philosophy at Harpur College before becoming part of the underground comix subculture of the 60s and 70s. Spiegelman began his career with the Topps Bubble Gum Company in the mid-1960s, which was his main financial support for two decades; there he co-created parodic series such as Wacky Packages in the 1960s and the Garbage Pail Kids in the 1980s. He gained prominence in the underground comix scene in the 1970s with short, experimental, and often autobiographical work. A selection of these strips appeared in the collection Breakdowns in 1977, after which Spiegelman turned focus to the book-length Maus, about his relationship with his father, a Holocaust survivor. The postmodern book depicts Germans as cats, Jews as mice, and ethnic Poles as pigs, and took 13 years to create until its completion in 1991. It won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and has gained a reputation as a pivotal work, responsible for bringing scholarly attention to the comics medium.
Today, Spiegelman advocates for greater comics literacy. As an editor, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a lecturer, Spiegelman has promoted better understanding of comics and has mentored younger cartoonists.