Will Eisner The Centennial Celebration At the Society of Illustrators, March 1–June 3, 2017 Curated by Denis Kitchen and John Lind
The lasting legacy that Will Eisner (1917–2005) has in sequential art cannot be overstated—he is known as the Champion of the Graphic Novel. His innovative storytelling, layouts, and art on his newspaper series The Spirit inspired a generation of cartoonists, and his turn toward an acclaimed run of graphic novels, beginning in 1978 with A Contract with God, helped pioneer the form. Among the honors bestowed upon Eisner are the Reuben Award, the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award, the Yellow Kid Award, and multiple Harvey Awards and Eisner Awards—the latter of which were named in his honor.
From March 1, 2017, until June 3, 2017, the Society of Illustrators in New York will host this two-floor retrospective—the largest Eisner exhibition ever in the United States. This exhibit, curated by Denis Kitchen and John Lind, comprises over 150 pieces that include original artwork from Smash Comics (1939); key sequences from his graphic novels including A Contract with God (1978), Life on Another Planet (1983), A Life Force (1988), To the Heart of the Storm (1991), and more than 40 pages of originals from The Spirit (1940–1952) newspaper section. Also included are personal items from Eisner’s career, such as his studio drawing board, brushes, and awards.
An opening reception for the exhibition is scheduled at the Society of Illustrators on the evening of March 10, from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM. Suggested donation of $20 to the Society in support of their programming and exhibitions. Cash bar in the Society’s Hall of Fame gallery will be open until midnight.
On April 22, there will be a Gallery Talk led by curators Denis Kitchen and John Lind.