1. Archive

Cartoonist's anniversary draws celebration

It all started with Lyndon B. Johnson.

Remember him? Big nose, big ears and a woeful look. That's how political cartoonist Pat Oliphant drew him in the '60s and as a result, that's how millions of Americans saw him.

Beneath Oliphant's pen, LBJ could materialize as a cowboy, Popeye, Don Quixote or Abe Lincoln.

Johnson was the first of six presidents caricatured by Oliphant over the past 25 years. His drawings appear in more than 500 newspapers, making him the most widely-read editorial cartoonist in the world.

The Tampa Museum of Art celebrates the milestone with "Oliphant's Presidents," an exhibit running through Oct. 25. It was organized by Art Services International, Alexandria, Va., in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Oliphant was non-partisan. After LBJ came Nixon. Nixon's nose was longer than LBJ's, his eyebrows bushier, his jowls enormous. Little ears, though.

Next up was Gerald Ford, spoofed by a long space between his snippet nose and bottom lip. And Jimmy Carter _ major mouth. Reagan _ now there was a real cowboy. And Bush, whose long, lean nose was exceeded only by his chin.

Oliphant was born in 1935 in Adelaide, Australia. His first American job was as political cartoonist for the Denver Post in 1964. In 1966 his drawings won him a Pulitzer Prize.

He later worked for the Washington Star until it folded in 1981. He now works for Universal Press Syndicate.

Oliphant will speak at a dinner of the Tampa museum's "At the Director's Table" series at 6 p.m. Oct. 19. Cost is $35 for non-members, $30 for members. Reservations are required. Call 223-8130.


"Oliphant's Presidents" is open through Oct. 25 at the Tampa Museum of Art, 601 Doyle Carlton Drive. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3.50 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2.50 for students, $2 for children 6-18. Free admission 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.