The City of Raleigh Museum Debuts Political Cartoonist Dwane Powell Exhibit on June 4

The City of Raleigh Museum Debuts Political Cartoonist Dwane Powell Exhibit on June 4

The City of Raleigh Museum announced today that its retrospective of the nationally syndicated work of political cartoonist and area resident Dwane Powell will open to the public Sunday, June 4. Titled “You really stuck it to me today”: The Political Cartoons of Dwane Powell,” the free exhibit will feature more than 40 cartoons from Powell’s childhood to the present, as well as sketchbooks and artifacts of the cartoonist’s trade. “You really stuck it to me today” will be on display through June 2019.

Powell has inked over 15,000 cartoons during his four decade-long career that have caricatured presidents, politicians, and North Carolina notables. Powell began cartooning for the News & Observer newspaper in 1975, where he remained until his official retirement in 2009. He continues to ink images for the newspaper’s Sunday edition. His provocative drawings about topics such as gun control and HB2 never fail to tickle funny bones or raise hackles, and are always successful in inspiring audiences to engage in current events conversations.

Powell’s work is an encapsulation of social history of the past forty plus years. It reflects his views on complicated issues molded into satirical and comical images that poke fun at both Republicans and Democrats alike. The museum exhibit’s title appropriately stems from a quote made by North Carolina’s iconic senator, Jesse Helms, who after viewing a cartoon, called up Powell and exclaimed, “You really stuck it to me today” – but still asked to display the artwork.

Growing up on a farm in rural Arkansas, Powell studied agri-business at the University of Arkansas-Monticello but loved doodling and was drawn to the cartoons he saw in Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post and MAD Magazine. It was only by luck that his hometown paper offered him $5 a cartoon, launching his life-long passion. Powell went on to win industry recognition including the Overseas Press Club Award for Excellence in Cartooning and the National Headliners Club Award for Outstanding Editorial Cartoons. He has published three collections of his cartoons.

“Dwane Powell is a legend among American editorial cartoonists with his innate ability to chronicle the life and times of our country in a single frame,” said Ernest Dollar, director of the City of Raleigh Museum. “It is truly an honor for the museum to highlight the amazing work of one of Raleigh’s own.”

Exhibit Details:

“You really stuck it to me today”: The Political Cartoons of Dwane Powell

The City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St. Raleigh, NC 27601
(located in the famous downtown Briggs Hardware Building built in 1874)

  • Museum Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays 9 a.m.- 4 p.m./Sundays 1-4 p.m.
  • Admission is free; donations accepted
  • Group tours available with advance notice
  • More information at cityofraleighmuseum.org or call 919-996-2220

A special exhibit preview will be available to those attending the City of Raleigh Museum’s “Time Warp 2017: The Roaring 20’s” fundraising gala the evening of Saturday, June 3. Benefiting museum exhibitions and educational programs, the annual sold-out event features live music, food, drinks and premium silent and live auction experiences.

Not Jumping for Joy: Raleigh’s Contentious Relationship with Ice Cream Trucks

Not Jumping for Joy: Raleigh’s Contentious Relationship with Ice Cream Trucks

[This material is from the Raleigh Register, a benefit to our museum members. Would you like to see more of this content? Become a member of the museum!]

As a part of the quintessential experience in American suburbia, I grew up ecstatically waiting for the ice cream truck with my brother and cousins during the summer. I can instantly recall the sounds of the hypnotic melody from an ice cream truck as it drove down the narrow street and passed the small church down the road from my house. As I would hear the sound, I would almost instantly run to my dad asking for money for the Tweety bird ice cream.

The iconic symbolism of the ice cream truck and its representation of the childhood summer make it strange to believe that the trucks were at the center of a debate about mobile food stands in Raleigh back in the early 1960s.

A Pine State truck sits in front of their plant at 426 Glenwood Avenue in 1950
A Pine State truck sits in front of their plant at 426 Glenwood Avenue in 1950

Before the modern food truck, the ice cream truck fought for the ability to sell in Raleigh. The main points of contention were child safety and littering. City officials and parents argued that ice cream trucks were a hazard to the community and posed a threat to children. Like food trucks, ice cream trucks divided the community.

Tension between ice cream truck operators and the City of Raleigh began as early as 1962 when the city regulated sales of ice cream and ice cream products. However, on January 22, 1962, a court ruled that city ordinances limiting ice cream truck sales were unconstitutional.

The Raleigh City Council promptly scheduled a public hearing on February 2, 1962, about rescinding the original ordinance, No. 18, concerning the regulation of sales by ice cream trucks.

Proponents of ice cream truck regulation argued passionately, claiming ice cream trucks were an attractive nuisance and created a hazard because they drew children into the streets.

Ice cream truck owners and their supporters argued that instances of accidents involving children were few and that vendors operated ice cream trucks in a way that minimized potential danger.

Ultimately, the council passed a measure agreeing with the opponents of ice cream trucks. The council declared it “unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell or offer to sell on the streets or alleys of the city of Raleigh any ice cream products from mobile ice cream units.”

Although the North Carolina Superior Court overturned the ordinance on May 21, 1962, the ice cream truck debate foreshadowed today’s discussions on mobile food stands in the city of Raleigh.

Christopher Phompraseut
City of Raleigh Museum Intern

Latta’s Living Legacy: Rev. Morgan L. Latta and the Latta University

Latta

 

The COR Museum partnered with the Latta Foundation to craft a new exhibit for February entitled, Latta’s Living Legacy: Rev. Morgan L. Latta and the Latta University. The exhibit tells the story of Morgan Latta, a former slave, who gained his freedom and established an industrial school in Raleigh. On display are artifacts from archaeological digs at the school site and architectural elements from Latta’s home which burned in 2007.

Raleigh Then, Raleigh Now, Raleigh Next

R3 Exhibit

Help COR Museum celebrate the completion of the first phase of its new flagship exhibit, “Raleigh Then, Raleigh Now, Raleigh Next” (R3). This interactive exhibit highlights historical events & figures in Raleigh’s past, beginning prior to the founding of the city and continuing into the present.