tv American Artifacts Off the Record Bar Political Cartoons CSPAN April 1, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT
on c-span 3. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> each week american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums and historic sites around the country. the historic hay-adams hotel is just across lafayette square from the white house. 's bar, record record is
decorated. even the coasters are up indicated with current political caricatures. we spoke with vice president and general manager hans bruland and matt wuerker about the artwork on display. >> the hotel was built in 1928 on the site of the residences and hn hey -- john hay henry adams. after the family relinquished their rights to the site, in 1926, wardman, the developer, along with the hotel that is now the st. regis. the hotel has been in existence since 1928. the bar has been in existence somewhere starting in the 1960's or 1970's. with my arrival in 1999, this bar was already known as off the record, a place to be seen but not heard. it was not in this color,
format and lay-out, but it was pretty well the same bar in the basement of the hotel. it is kind of like the speak easy place and has become very popular over the years. the decorations of political cartoons that are displayed from various artists, dating back to a collection of artwork who at this stage has decease the. we keep some of the original artwork still in-house. from what i know, it is that the previous ownership in the 80's and 90's decided to bring in some artwork after having a few over the bar and in the bar. that is how it really established. but we have built up on this more so now because we are using local artists, and pluser prize winning artists cusp as matt wuerker and others in order to continue the tradition
of rotating political adams through the bar. >> my understand this goes back to about 2000. they redid the bar here at the hotel and they went with this classic washington cigar den. back then you could smoke in bars in washington. they did it with the wing back chairs, and the velvet booths and the dark burgundy walls, and somebody had the brainstorm that they wanted to do cartoons for art. the original genesis and collection on the wallace was from -- walls was from art wood, who ended up donating his llection to the library of congress. since then i got involved in 2018 thanks to my buddy, richard thompson when they wanted to update the caricatures to stuff that was more current.
the wood collection went back to the 60's, 70's and 80's, and then there was a big gap. the thing happening in the bar was the newer clients didn't recognize the people from the nixon and reagan add strayings. so they wanted people from the clinton and obama administrations. that is when richard tom, who passed away a couple of years ago was brought information he was an astounding caricaturist. he was the top flight at the time. he did a lot of stuff for u.s. news and world report and the new yorker. so richard came in with portfolio drawings, and they got some of those, and they wanted more. my friend heck out matt, and so i got to fill in the more recent figures. i travel both words.
i work in caricatures and a political cartoonist. when i am wearing my political cartoonist hat, i am really a political commentator, just like somebody who is writing a column in the op-ed pages, except i have the advantage of i draw my opinion and ideally express it with a certain amount of humor. the poor columnists have to rely on using their words. the old saw about a picture is worth a thousand words is quite true. somebody who writes an 800-word essay on tax policy has to rely on a reader to invest five minutes to read those 800 words. but you glance at a cartoon. humans have a visual acute. we pick up stuff things. we recognize a face, setting. and you can press a cartoon quickly. so we have a certain advantage,
i think. there are some people that think political cartooning is going away, that it is sort of an archaic form of political expression. i feel just the opposite. i think that political cartoons for our erfect vehicle short attention span, twitter, media culture. and i am sticking to that, the power of positive thinking. caricaturists are different in that they don't have the advantage of using word bubbles or captions. it is purely a visual thing. you are basically trying to capture a character. a good caricaturist can load that up with other stuff and insert a political opinion, or maybe there is some detail or there is some wry commentary in the setting or the clothing of
the caricature. i learned this just recently after working as a caricaturist for 40 years. the word caricature comes from caracare, word which means to load as in a boat, cart or gun. a caricature is not just a portrait. you are not just trying to capture the physical attributes of somebody. you are loading that portrait with a certain edgy humor. if you do it right, you capture more than just the physical attributes of somebody. i was very lucky in that as a young man i grew up in los angeles. i got to meet paul conrad, who was on of the giants of the field. three-time pulitzer prize winner for the "new york times." he was most proud of fact that he was the only cartoonist that
made nixon's enemies list. conrad opened the door to me career path. a he was very encouraging and inspiring. i start out in my teens and 20's, i would look around, and i loved the work of pat, herb at the washington post. david lavigne, who is probably -- what is the right word? he was pivotal and influential in the world of caricature. you still see it in my work somewhat. in these other works. he signed valo, but his name was ed vaultman. he was very similar to lavigne. fluid he master of the
cross catch, the big head and the little bubble. he was an early influence with minute. that is where i fell in love with cross hashing. >> debar is a collection of cartoons that spans a lot of decades, in fact a sentry. it goes back to another one of the great grand daddies of political cartooning, kepler. it was a publisher and joint owner of puck magazine. epler would do these beautiful color larry smith graphs that would be two-page spreads for puck magazine. -- read the find one oks, you can with rockefeller reaching his hand out. it was like a real work of art
actually done as a color larry smith graph. there are couple here from kepler. those are probably theososest once. and ed vaultman and covington ould be sort of the next once. the vaultman cartoons are almost all from the ragan era. i think that was when richard and i were brought in, when people were failing to recognize jean kirkpatrick and people like that. i have had the bartenders when i would come in to have a drink, some of the bartenders and the new help would say tell us who that is? they are consistently asked about these people. that is bob dole, don't you remember had im? no. mash of -- a igan
mish mash of other work. these are color vault ones. these are water color images. these are obviously done in the 1970's. richard thompson's style is just -- as a cartoonist, and it is just such a beautiful combination of loose line. he was influenced a lot by some of the great english cartoonist, but he took it to his own place. i aspire to this kind of looseness, but i am still working on it. this one i did for politico. this is a caricature of bernie sanders. you can see the difference. do a cross hash with
rapitograph and water colors. >> he used a dip pen. >> but he is also very, very modern. in his is another rich team that i rely on a lot of little black and white lines that hearkens back to the wood engraffering era. richard's style here, the rendering is really done with water color. let's the paint render the shapes. here is a paul ryan i did for politico, a dick cheney and a karl rowe. this wall gets a lot of attention when i come into the bar and sitting around. i ally as anytime living will get stopped. here is a shameless self-promotion thing i did for
politico was back in the beginning. one of our reporters did a piece about odd couples in washington, people you wouldn't expect to find say getting a drink at a bar. of course this is when i started doing stuff with the hey adams. this is e.j. manuel and mitch, and i situated them in the bar. this was back when ron was chief of staff of the house for obama. i was far too nice to mitch mcconnell in this one, but sometimes that happens. biden. here is a then richard thompson, a laura bush. sophisticates, the painting of richard is sort of annoying and wonderful.
up in the corner. that is our trouble that kevin draws for the economist. he did it recently with the twitter bird on his shoulder. a fabulous piece of color art. >> in the bar, 75% of the art on the walls are really straight caricatures. there are a number of real political tar dines. this one has one by me and one for kevin callaher. you can tell the difference in that we have word bubbles and captions. there is a lot more information and opinion being conveyed in these, which is what we are really about. example of lovely good political cartoon, built around a clever visual metaphor that is conveyed quickly. in this case it is the boxing
ring, and it is israel and policy stein going at it. nd the new ref is obama. then you see round number. -- he old refs, busch bush, clinton, reagan, albeit up. and if a food example u are doing a good political cartoon, you can distill it down to a nice visual nugget that can convey the complexity, hopefully with a little bite. this is a cartoon i did that they liked here. it is about the head of the chamber of commerce, which happens to be next door. i should date my cartoons, but 2018.eve this one is in
resistance is fought i'll, and they are blasting the delmonicos with piles of cash. i understand he actually likes these cartoons, which fills me with mixed ee hearn. these represent the golden age of american political cartooning, which you would have found in puck magazine. they are done by kepler. they are color larry smith grabs. i wish i knew the exact details of the political cartoon at the time. the big thumb of the big interests held down on the speak. the caption down here is very small. the leader of the mine orton, he can't get the speak area eyes that is you said the thumb of the big interests. this is of course uncle sam.
of e sam being a creation .olitical car actual larry smith graph. these days wet get strunk down more like that when we are in print. but back to my sort of optimistic wrap on editorial cartooning, this is perhaps some of the best color printing, especially of the time to display a political cartoon. but in 2018, cartoonisting are working in a dimming dal realm. the biggest audience for our
art is on smartphones and ipads. it let's us do all sorts of elegant water color and the nuance you can do on a big scale like kepler got to do. ese too cartoons are byian tellness who draws for the post on the digital side. she does political cartoons that are often animated gifs. she won the pulitzer prize in 2000 and has moved on to animation. i think these are studies that he did around the inauguration of obama. she is not a cross hatcher. she went to cal art, and she is a trained animate warrior. already, you can see in other
strong line style. she now works all in war color as well. the hey adams has a special -- the hay plaids has a special place -- the hay adams has a special place in washington. you could still smoke in bars in washington. this was a cigar bar. we came in on a cold winter night. i had just moved to washington from the west coast and was fascinated by the culture of the city. you walked in here and there was this inversion layer of cigar smoke and all of these people all dressed up in suits or whatever sitting around having conversations in wing back chairs. it was right out of a cartoon. it is like oh, my got, this is the deny of nick wit that you imagine being in a basement right around the white house. there is this one booth in the back that they can close off.
there is really no place like it in washington. then a few years ago besides providing cartoons to decorate the walls, hans had the idea of doing coasters. so they commissioned original ard for these, and cal, andian original art nd for these, and we will design caricatures of people in the news. they are used as coasters and handed out to people here. >> it is an interesting exercise. certain caricatures, like this is a hillary clinton are going to be somewhat evergreen. she is not going anywhere. but some of the other characters we draw, we are not sure they are going to be in the news. sean spicer was one we were because bout do it
trump was coming to town. these are always really fun assignments, and we situate the politicos in the bar doing various things. usually add, if you can, little details. this is the pence caricature, and he is drinking with a beer ein that looks markably bike donald trun. or this one where hillary is leaving the hotel, and will is carrying all the luggage, baggage. you get the jokes. threets these were done by ron covington mostly back in the 80's. he has a distinct style. he is related a bit to the david levine school, but he
took it in his own direction. they are beautifully done. character tours are strange then. when you try to caricature somebody, you exaggerate features, and then you limit it. some go right to the very edge. covington's stuff is like that. like this yeltsyelts is a extremely of the forms. here is a bird, senator byrd from west virginia. geri brown. >> it is also fascinating when ou work with people. sometimes i will talk with art students, and it is amazing how you don't always have to be so rendered in detail. presidential caricature for sure, but probably true of all
political figures, can become a simple iconic thing. george bush and barack obama, i could draw six linings and they would say that is george bush or barack obama. people can tell what you are drawing. it is a mystical thing. our facial recognition so the wear in our brains is very acute and one of the things that caricaturists can use to their advantage. takes a little effort to be non-partisan when doing coasters. i am paid to have a political opinion and express it strongly. we have to dial that back, and we understand it is not just that we don't want to un necessarily rile people when she come in for a drink at the
bar or something like that. but one of the nice things about the bar and the couple tour of washington, there is this lovely word that members f congress used called comedy. ou may not get along with some people, but you can sit down and have a drink with them. >> we will send our political opinions and save that for our political cartoons. in this case we will have some fun with the caricatures on the coasters. >> tonight on "q & a", high school students from around the country were in washington, d.c. for the annual united states senate youth program. we met with this at the historic mayflower hotel, where she shared their thoughts about
government and politics. >> an issue to me is climate change. every other country in the world has recognized the detrimental impacts of climate change and have taken steps to address it. currently we have not stayed on course with other countries. >> we are the richest nation in the world. yet we have citizens who go bankrupt trying to cover basic health care costs. that is an outrage and we should be ashamed. are tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q & a." >> american history tv is on c-span 3 every weekend. featuring museum tours, are
keisel films and programs on the presidency, civil war and more. sheer a clip from a recent program -- here is a clip from a recent program. >> i thought i would share this story with you. you make your own judgment about it. when i was first elected leader and went to my first meeting at the white house as leader, president bush was president, and this was acknowledged. i wasn't apprehensive about going to the white house. i had been there many times as a member of the intelligence committee. i didn't even think about being and hencive about the meeting. when i got there and the door closed behind me. he looked he at the cable and realized this was unlike any other meeting i ever been to at the white house. not a cabinet meeting, but
power drysdale from the president. but to be there as a representative of my caucus, my beautiful diverse caucus, over . % women, minorities and lgbt i am proud of that. to bring a woman's voice to the table. president bush was gracious, lufile. beautiful welcoming remarks to me to join the table. and while he was speaking, i felt very closed in, in my chair. i have never had that phenomenon before or since. but i felt very closed in my chair. then i realize it was it was susan b. anthony, elizabeth. alice hall, patricia mott, they were all on the chair with me. just right there. and i could hear them say at last we have a seat at the table. [applause]
>> and then they were gone. my first thought was we want more. we want more. we won't rest until we have more. so i realized -- i knew of course that i was standing on the shoulders of these brave pioneers. imagine their courage in their day to do what they did. but we all have strong shoulders for the next generation to succeed and stand on our shoulders. >> you can watch this and other american history programs on our website where all our video is are kifed. that's c-span.org/history. >> monday night on commonors, mcta president michael powell is interviewed by kyle bailey of politico. >> my own belief is what is appening to facebook today was
predictable and inevitable to some degree. i think essentially you have a brilliant platform based advertising model that essentially emphasizes precision propaganda. that precision propaganda can be used for good or for evil. and i think that you have had this mathology almost in the opening decade of the internet that information also wants to be free and available, that openness is always good. i don't think there was a full thinking threw the way that one could inject into that social graph stream evil and negative behavior. i think as various forces have matured and learned you how the products work. they are learning how to take advantage of them for their own purposes. >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on use. >> you are watching american
history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter @crap history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> now we continue our series, 1968, america in tournament, with a look at civil rights and race relations, including martin luther king jr.'s poor people's campaign. assassination in memphis, black power and the report. are your guests are kathleen cleaver, former black panther party communication second, and peniel joseph, of the l.b.j. school of public affairs. here, here is cbs news anchor walter con crichton april 4, 1968 announcing that martin luther king jr. has been shot and killed.