Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist Jules Feiffer discusses his creative process with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe. Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen speaks about the collaboration with Feiffer for the solo exhibition "A Dance to Jules Feiffer," followed by a live drawing by Feiffer of his signature modern dancer cartoon.
EXCERPT from PillowTalk: Jules Feiffer's Explainers. recorded August 5, 2009.
PillowTalks feature world-renowned choreographers, dancers, authors, filmmakers, historians, and critics in live hour-long moderated discussions of the cultural forces shaping the field of dance. Curated by Jacob’s Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen and moderated by Scholars-in-Residence, PillowTalks use dance as a prism to explore the world at large.
The first cartoonist commissioned by The New York Times to create comic strips for their Op-Ed page, Jules Feiffer has been honored with major retrospectives at the New York Historical Society, the Library of Congress and The School of Visual Arts. From his Village Voice editorial cartoons (see Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips, 1956-1966) to his plays and screenplays including Little Murders and Carnal Knowledge, Feiffer's satirical outlook has helped define Americans politically, sexually and socially.
Writings and illustrations for children and young adult books include:The Man in the Ceiling, A Room with a Zoo and Bark, George! Feiffer has taught at the Yale School of Drama, Northwestern University, Dartmouth, and presently at Stony Brook Southampton College. His memoir, Backing into Forward (Doubleday 2010), relates how persistent failure inspired him to reinvent himself as an artist over and over.
Contemporary dance historian and dance writer Maura Keefe is a Scholar-in-Residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. She has led audience engagement programs at numerous locations including Princeton University, UCLA, the Goethe Institut, City Center and DANCECleveland. Her current research areas are the exploration of the choreography of talking dancing in contemporary dance and the relationships between dance
and sports. Keefe has an MFA in choreography and performance from Smith College, and a PhD in dance history and theory from University of California, Riverside. She is the chair of the Department of Dance at SUNY College at Brockport.
As Director of Preservation for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Norton Owen programs the PillowTalks series, directs all activities involving the extensive Archives, and serves as curator for several exhibitions each season. He is a contributing author to numerous books and publications, Past Chair of the Dance Heritage Coalition, President of the O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, and was for many years the Institute Director of the José Limón Dance Foundation. In 2000, Dance/USA honored Owen with its Ernie Award for "unsung heroes who have led exemplary lives in dance."
Originally, a full-size drawing used for transferring a design to a painting, tapestry, or other large work. Cartoons were used from the 15th century by fresco painters and stained-glass artists. In the 19th century the term acquired its popular meaning of a humorous drawing or parody. Cartoons in that sense are used today to convey political commentary, editorial opinion, and social comedy in newspapers and magazines. The greatest early figure is William Hogarth, in 18th-century Britain. In 19th-century France, Honoré Daumier introduced accompanying text that conveyed his characters' unspoken thoughts. Britain's Punch became the foremost 19th-century venue for cartoons; in the 20th century The New Yorker set the American standard. A Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning was established in 1922. See alsocaricature; comic strip.