Scully (2014) A Serious Matter


This paper explores the origins and development of the Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon, begun by Erwin D. Swann in 1966, and currently held by the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. One of the world's few collections dedicated to the preservation of original comic art by caricaturists and cartoonists from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, Swann's collection also transcends national boundaries, and embraces comic art as one of the 'universal folk expressions'. An established art collector, Swann sought to give caricature and cartoon the same status as 'high' art, and worked hard to achieve this prior to his death in 1973. His work has been continued, and his collection maintained, in subsequent years. A closer investigation of the collection's genesis, and the intentions of Swann himself, sheds light on the significance of this unique archive, and its utility for the continuing, 'serious' scholarship of comic art worldwide.

Citation Richard Scully (2014). A Serious Matter. Journal of the History of Collections, pp. 1–12. DOI

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

author = {Scully, Richard},
doi = {10.1093/jhc/fhu027},
journal = {Journal of the History of Collections},
pages = {1--12},
title = {{A Serious Matter}},
year = {2014}

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