- Brief Narrative
- Satirical drawing created by Rollin Kirby and published in the New York Post on June 4, 1940. He inscribed the drawing and gave it to Charles Neal and Lida Thomas on June 4, 1940. The drawing depicts Adolf Hitler holding a bloody sword and standing atop of mound of human skulls. A vulture perches on the pile next to him. Kirby had been a celebrated political cartoonist in the US since World War I (1914-18), and won three Pulitzers in the 1920s. His editorial cartoons appeared daily in a series of New York newspapers. He was known for his bold visual style and his support of the common man against such forces as big business, Hitler and fascism, and the Ku Klux Klan.
- Artwork Title
- I, Adolf Hitler, am the cause of more bloodshed, suffering, and death than any man who ever lived!
1940 June 04
creation: approximately 1940 June 04
New York (N.Y.)
creation: New York (N.Y.)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alice Thomas
- front, lower right, pencil : To Tommy and Lida with best wishes - Rollin - 6-4-40
Subject: Rollin Kirby
Rollin Kirby was born in Galva, Illinois, on September 4, 1875, to George Washington Kirby and Elizabeth Maddox. His father had a shoe store. When Kirby was nineteen, he moved to New York to study painting at the Art Students League. He then went to Paris, France, to study at the Academie Julian and the Ecole Des Beaux Arts. He had a gallery show of his paintings at the National Academy in New York when he returned, but in 1901, in order to make a living, he turned to commercial art. He became a magazine illustrator, publishing work in Colliers, Harper’s, Scribner’s, and other popular publications. In 1903, he married Estelle Carter and they had one daughter.
He began to focus on cartoon drawing in 1911, as he was tiring of work he found routine. By 1914, his editorial cartoons were appearing daily in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. He gained fame as a political cartoonist while working for the New York World from 1913-1931. Following World War I (1914-1918) he was recognized as America’s leading political cartoonist and won three Pulitzer Prizes in 1922, 1925, and 1929; his 1922 award was the first award in this category created to recognize the importance of political and social satire in the US. Kirby was known for his bold and deceptively simple graphic style and for the clever and inventive symbolism he used in his images. He stayed on in 1931 when the New York World merged with The World Telegram, but in 1939 he went to the New York Post, where he remained until 1942. He continued creating visual commentaries on daily life and his work appeared in Look magazine and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. He stood for the common man and supported civil rights and the New Deal against such forces as big business, corrupt politicians, Hitler and fascism, and the Ku Klux Klan. He was a cartoonist for whom the idea mattered most. He also wrote articles, poetry, and plays. Kirby, age 73, died on May 8, 1952 in New York City, New York.
- Object Type
Editorial cartoons (lcsh)
- Physical Description
- Rectangular pencil drawing on offwhite paper mounted on thick cardboard. It features an image of Hitler holding a bloody sword in his left arm and standing on a large pile of skulls. He is dressed in belted jodhpurs and knee high boots. A white collared black vulture with a beak dripping blood is perched next to him There are dark clouds in the background. The artist's signature is in the lower right corner of the image. The title is handwritten below the image at bottom center and there are editorial notations in blue pencil and pencilled noes on he reverse. There is an inscription by the artist along the bottom right of the image.
- overall: Height: 18.375 inches (46.673 cm) | Width: 13.875 inches (35.243 cm)
- overall : paper, cardboard, graphite, crayon, colored pencil, ink, adhesive
- front center, below image, pencil : I, ADOLF HITLER AM THE CAUSE OF MORE BLOODSHED, SUFFERING, AND DEATH THAN ANY MAN WHO EVER LIVED!
bottom, blue pencil : 6" / 4 cols. [?] page Tuesday
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- No restrictions on access
- Conditions on Use
- Restrictions on use
Keywords & Subjects
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The drawing was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Alice W. Thomas, the granddaughter of Charles Neal and Lida Thomas.
- Record last modified:
- 2022-07-28 18:29:56
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