Photo by nga.gov
Midas, Transmuting All into Paper 1797 by James Gillray
Midas, Transmuting All into Paper 1797 by James Gillray

Humor may be fundamental to human experience, but its expression in painting and sculpture has been limited. Instead, prints, as the most widely distributed medium, and drawings, as the most private, have been the natural vehicles for comic content.

Drawn from the National Gallery of Art’s collection, Sense of Humor celebrates this incredibly rich though easily overlooked tradition through works including Renaissance caricatures, biting English satires, and 20th-century comics. The show, located in the West Building, ground floor, opens July 15th and runs through January 6, 2019.

Included are major works by Pieter Brueghel the ElderJacques CallotWilliam HogarthJames GillrayFrancisco Goya, and Honoré Daumier, as well as later examples by Alexander CalderRed GroomsSaul SteinbergArt Spiegelman, and the Guerrilla Girls.

The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon senior curator of prints and drawings; Judith Brodie, curator and head of the department of American and modern prints and drawings; and Stacey Sell, associate curator, department of old master drawings, all National Gallery of Art, Washington.

 

Admission is always free and passes are not required.