Dr. Joel A. Hollander is Assistant Professor of Art History at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has prepared publications, co-curated exhibitions, and participated in panel discussions that focus on themes addressing Irish art from the mid-nineteenth century until contemporary times.
2007 0-7734-5671-6 This comprehensive study of late nineteenth century Irish political cartoons published in nationalist newspapers and periodicals examines how popular art in the service of propaganda became a primary means of shaping public opinion during the first seven years of Charles Stewart Parnell’s struggle to lead the Irish peasantry into Home Rule (ca. 1879-1886). This period, which was marked by intense political upheaval characterized by coercion and conciliation, raised such issues as landownership, censorship of the press, and legislative relations between Ireland and England. The complimentary emblematic Irish “types” – Pat Murphy and Erin – whose features affirmed the patriotic desires of the masses, embodied the heroicized ideals of the tenant class and stood in remarkable contrast to the vulgar hyperbole of James Gillray’s earlier physiognomic models and to the siminaized Fenians appearing in contemporary English satirical journals such as Punch. Other visual also approaches appeared in the Irish nationalist political cartoons with great frequency, including: pantomime and farce; the convergence of “high” art and popular art; the fantastic; the cult of Shakespeare; Faustian allusions; Swiftian appropriations; nursery rhymes; and anthropomorphic narratives. Moreover, these Irish nationalist images are not what we at the turn of the twenty-first century think of as political cartoons today: small, black-and-white inserts set alongside editorials. Instead, they were large-format and color, suitable for framing, and placed gratis in the Saturday editions of large-run periodicals that reached an expanding, literate audience.