Dec 06, 2018 - Sale 2495

Sale 2495 - Lot 256

Price Realized: $ 5,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
"Is Rufus Ready for his Lesson?" Original 11-panel "Doonesbury" daily comic strip specially created for the African-American psychologist Kenneth B. Clark, circa early 1970s. Watercolor, pen, ink, and wash, with collage, drawn on the verso of three sliced and discarded original cartoons by Trudeau which he joined into one sheet. Signed and dated 4/25 in the last panel, Inscribed and Signed in title panel. 330x482 mm; 13x19 inches. Paper with two vertical ripples, some scattered toning, foxing, and adhesive residue.

Additional Details

a specially created and inscribed doonesbury cartoon from trudeau to african-american psychologist, educator, and civil rights activist kenneth b. clark. Inscribed "To Dr. Clark, with best wishes and great admiration from Garry Trudeau."
Rufus "Thor" Jackson was one of two African-American characters Trudeau introduced to the cartoon in 1971. A school-aged boy from the ghetto whom Mike tutors, Rufus's main role was to tease Mike relentlessly and feed his white liberal guilt, thereby exposing readers to the sometimes awkward realities of the black liberation struggle. The ever-earnest but hapless tutor tries to bridge the racial divide but can never seem to communicate without falling into condescension. Over the course of their story line, Rufus and Mike do eventually develop a relationship that is meaningful to them both.
Trudeau followed the work of Kenneth B. Clark who, with his wife and professional partner, Mamie Phipps Clark, pioneered the psychology of race identity in school-aged children through several important studies and experiments in the mid-20th century. His witness testimony was instrumental in the legal rulings of Brown vs. the Board of Education, ruling that racial segregation in education was unconstitutional. He was the first black president of the American Psychological Association, founder of several important child development and youth organizations in Harlem, and was active in the Civil Rights Movement. Trudeau was deeply influenced by Clark and based a number of Doonesbury's 1970s story lines on his pioneering work. This specially created cartoon is a poignant, touching homage, bridging humor and the tension of social dynamics.