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'A History of the Funnies' at Carnegie Art Center

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Mon, Jul 10th 2017 12:55 pm
Collection of Dr. Maurice Dewey
Beginning Saturday, July 22, the Carnegie Art Center in North Tonawanda will host a month-long exhibition of original cartoon and comic art: "A History of the Funnies: 1880s-2000s." Approximately 150 pieces will be on display, comprehensively chronicling over a century of comic art history as a memorial to local physician Maurie Dewey. The exhibition will run through Aug. 19.
Dewey had been an avid collector of comic strip art and memorabilia since the late 1960s. For a short while in the early 1980s, he helped organize and run a small Comic Art Gallery and Museum housed in the Carnegie Art Center. His sincerest hope was to, once again, exhibit pieces of his collection at the Carnegie for the local community - especially its youngsters - to enjoy.
Dewey had planned this summer's exhibition for some time, but, sadly, passed away in January. During his illness, he was adamant about the show being offered, whether or not he would be around to see it, to a community of people he truly loved and adored. 
Growing up during the Great Depression, young Maurie endured the plight of most Americans. His family, like so many others, struggled to get by and survive during one of this nation's most challenging periods. Little things, like awaiting resolution of a daily "cliffhanger" for Mutt and Jeff, or eagerly anticipating an upcoming Sunday installment of "Flash Gordon," made a world of difference to a youngster surviving the unending physical and emotional burdens of the mid- to late-1930s. As an adult, Dewey exuded a child-like energy and good humor that was fueled by his love of life, his family and community, and the funny papers.
This will all be evident on July 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as the Carnegie Art Center kicks off an exhibition of American cartoon history in an event open to all. From Thomas Nast's political cartoons to George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" and Dik Browne's "Hagar the Horrible," comic strip history and the American history it reflected will be on display.
The Carnegie Art Center is located at 240 Goundry St. It is open from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and from noon until 3 p.m. Saturdays. This event is sponsored in part by the City of North Tonawanda, the members of the Carnegie Art Center, and the Dewey family.
The Carnegie Art Center is situated in a structure built in 1904 as the City of North Tonawanda's public library. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1976, the Carnegie has been operating as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, offering the community art exhibitions, art educational and performance programs, as well as support to artists and art organizations.
For more information, contact the Carnegie Art Center at 716-694-4400 or view its website at www.carnegieartcenter.org.

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