Puck, the pioneering magazine of the Gilded Age, sought to change the world through the power of laughter. The exhibition With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age features 74 rare original drawings created for Puck, as well as published cartoons and over 20 vintage magazines.
Puck’s editors encouraged creative experimentation, and hired cartoonists who pushed the limits of the art form. Puck was the first magazine to use full-color lithographs on the front, back, and centerfold, with bold black and white cartoons inside. It published work by the era’s most distinguished illustrators, and also proved a training ground for extraordinary new talent. With a Wink and a Nod features original black and white drawings in a variety of styles by Samuel Ehrhart, Louis Dalrymple, Louis Glackens, Franklin Howarth, Frederick Opper, William Rogers, and more.
The pages of Puck are a unique vantage point for understanding life in Gilded Age America. During this period Chicago banker Samuel M. Nickerson and his family lived in the Driehaus Museum’s Italianate ‘Marble Palace’. The Nickersons may have laughed with recognition when Puck poked fun at the wealthy classes, or enjoyed the special 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition edition, which Keppler moved to Chicago briefly to produce. On view in the restored second-floor galleries—once the Nickersons’ private bedrooms—With a Wink and a Nod offers an immersive experience of the culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website