The Art Gallery at The University of West Florida (TAG UWF), in collaboration with Dr. Patrick M. Rowe, presents an exhibition of the work ofthe American illustrator and cartoonist Bill Mauldin (1921-2003). Mauldin is considered the most famous graphic artist of World War II. During the war, he served as an infantryman and was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded by mortar fire during the Italian campaign. Although the exhibition emphasizes what Mauldin produced during the war, examples of his post-war work will be on display as well. Original drawings, paintings, and prints, in addition to flags, posters and other ephemera from the war era, will be on view. All of the objects in the exhibition are from The Rowe Collection.
Although some of Mauldin’s cartoons are humorous, there is a profound and expressionistic side to his art. His World War II cartoons, which were published in Stars and Stripes and syndicated newspapers across the United States, brought about reforms in the military. During the war, Mauldin created illustrations primarily to bring some relief to his fellow soldiers. However, his work also illustrated to the American public the brutality of war and the suffering of the enlisted men. His illustrations countered the government propaganda that idealized the image of the military man in order to garner public support and increase enlistment. In the manner of Honoré Daumier, Mauldin illustrated the reality of war. After the war, Mauldin’s cartoons brought about political and societal reforms.
Bill Mauldin was admired not only by the general public, but also by his artistic colleagues who viewed him as the greatest illustrator of his generation. Satirical cartoonists, such as Charles Schulz of Peanuts and Al Capp of Li’l Abner, admired his talents. This exhibition celebrates his body of work and serves as a tribute to all the veterans of World War II- the men and women of the “Greatest Generation.”
The Exhibition will be free and open to the public from November 8th until January 10th. Please join us for the reception on Friday, November 9th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.