Funny looks : character cartoons


SAL record control number: 104618 ;

Record level: Listing ;

Record type: Exhibitions ;

Exhibition type: Art collection ;

Close up of yellow minimalist cartoon man with glasses and prominent eyebrows.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Title: Funny looks : character cartoons ;

Exhibition Date: Sep 27 - Jan 31, 2021 - 2022 ;

Exhibition hours:
Monday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Tuesday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Wednesday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Thursday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Friday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Sunday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST

Location: Salmagundi townhouse, Wiggins bar gallery ;

Admission: This show is FREE and open to the public ;


Beginning September 27 and continuing to January 1, 2022, Salmagundi art collection presents Funny looks : character cartoons. The organization’s earliest artist members worked as  illustrators for pre-photography newspapers and magazines.  The need to produce quick drawings for these outlets forced the artists to develop their fast drawing skills.  These skills however, would become a fun drinking and party game where fellow members would draw caricatures of each other.  The club has three important collections of character cartoon drawings.  Funny looks : character cartoons will display selections from all three character collections including a selection from 1916 to 1930, another from the late 1930s and finally from the 1980s.  The exhibition will further be enhanced with early photographic portraits of members and group event photography shots of important dinners and parties.  The works will be displayed in their natural habitat, in the bar gallery, where many of these drawings may have been conceived.  The relaxed atmosphere of the club’s bar is the perfect setting for works to be displayed.  Visitors will be treated to how the artist’s saw each other, with beer googles on.

William Auerbach-Levy (1889-1964) [RA 1922-1964] : Caricature of a man smoking a cigar, ca.1937.
Former secretary of Salmagundi, Leo Mielziner, is known for his portrait painting and illustration.  Trained at the Cincinnati Museum Association Art Academy [Cincinnati Art Academy], Cincinnati, OH (1880-1889), Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France (1890-1893) under Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904), Royal Academy of Copenhagen, Denmark, Academie Julian, Paris, France under William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) and Kroyer studio, Copenhagen, Denmark, Mielziner donated to the club nearly ninety character and portrait drawings from 1916 to 1930.  Several of the artist’s more plastic and over the top characterizations will be on display.  The Jewish artist painted portraits of no less than four American Presidents including: Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt.    He also painted portraits of Attorney General Harlan F Stone, John Basset Moore, Nathan Abbott (a historian), Dr. Solomon Schechter, J Pierpont Morgan, Thomas Edison, Dr. Chase Elliot, Ambassador Straus, Secretary of State Knox and Patrick Tracy.  Drawings by Mielziner will be on display of fellow Salmagundians of his time at the club.

Salmagundi art collection owns a group of character drawings from one of the best character cartoonists of the early 20th-century, William Auerbach-Levy (1889-1964) [RA 1922-1964].  Auerbach-Levy created characters for many New York publications including: The New YorkerNew York PostBrooklyn EagleColliers MagazineEsquire Magazine and Christian Herald.  The artists stripped-down characters are represented by his 1937 collection of works on view in the exhibition.

“The Auerbach-Levy drawings are incredible.  They border on abstract and I can see why the New Yorker chose him to illustrate their magazine.  With so few lines, the artist captured a mood and likeness of each sitter.  My favorite is of a bald member smoking.  It looks like a walnut with a cigar,” says Chair of the Curatorial Committee, Bill Indursky.

Sherry Lane [NRA 1987] donated several of her character drawings to the club in 1987 of past board members.  Lane owns a business that creates character drawings called Sherry Lane Caricatures.  She entertains guests of events with her caricatures, psychic face readings or cut silhouettes.

Members of the club are welcome to enjoy the exhibition during member hours and are encouraged to see it during the three days each week that the bar area is open, Wednesday – Friday nights.  Non-members may experience the show during public exhibition hours seven days per week.


Participating artists:


Related documents:

47 Fifth Avenue @ Twelfth Street | New York, NY  10003
Tel: (212) 255-7740 | Email:
Website Data Privacy Policy

Salmagundi Club is a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law.