The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to present This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer, opening this Saturday, September 5 from 10 AM to 6 PM. This special exhibition, featuring 150 original works from the Museum’s permanent collection, explores decades of world events and hyper-local issues just in time for the 2020 presidential election.
Robert “Bob” Palmer was Springfield’s longest-working cartoonist, creating over 10,000 political cartoons for the Springfield News-Leader beginning in April 1953 through July 1991. Palmer was the last local cartoonist; since his retirement, the paper has moved to syndicated cartoons. His political cartoons poked fun at everyone from Springfield City Council members to Presidents Nixon and Reagan and covered issues ranging from peace negotiations in the Middle East to Springfield’s landfill concerns.
Palmer began his cartooning career in 1945 working as a ghost artist on Will Eisner’s comic strip The Spirit. He also drew political cartoons for the New York Daily News before moving to Springfield in 1953 to take over as in-house political cartoonist. He retired from the Springfield News-Leader in 1991 and passed away in 1999.
In 2008, Palmer’s family gifted the Museum over 1,000 original cartoons, first made for the News-Leader. An additional thirty cartoons were gifted in 2018. This treasure trove traces local, national, and worldwide issues covering eight U.S. presidents, seven Missouri governors, and numerous local personalities.
Palmer’s tenure coincided with major cultural shifts in the United States including the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation Movements, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the War on Drugs, the AIDS epidemic, and burgeoning environmental concerns. Palmer always claimed to be ideologically independent saying, “Nobody knows my politics.” He was just as likely to skewer proponents of both sides of an issue.
PUBLIC PROGRAMS: All public programs and events remain cancelled through October 14, 2020 in accordance with Phase 3A of the City of Springfield, MO Road to Recovery Plan. Face masks are required in accordance with City of Springfield, MO ordinance.
See This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer through November 29. This exhibition features a catalog, a complete record of the show, for $30 available for purchase in the Museum’s Lobby or by calling (417) 837-5700. This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer is generously underwritten by the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Foundation. The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.
The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit www.sgfmuseum.org