Patricia Mainardi: Why Is Caricature Funny?
Caricature can make us laugh, but the best images can also make us think, and by means of exaggeration and analogy they reveal the truth hidden beneath surface appearances. In “Why is Caricature Funny?” Patricia Mainardi examines this art form from various points of view in images that date from its codification in the Renaissance, culminating with the nineteenth-century, the golden age of caricature.
Patricia Mainardi, a leading authority on nineteenth-century European art and European and American Modernism, and a pioneering professor of women’s studies, is Professor Emeritus in the Doctoral Program in Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
She earned her Ph.D. from the City University of New York, completing a dissertation, “Universal Expositions of the Second Empire: A Study in Art and Politics” under the supervision of Professors Linda Nochlin and John Rewald. This was published as Art and Politics of the Second Empire: The Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867 (Yale University Press, 1987), and was awarded the College Art Association’s Charles Rufus Morey Award as the best book of its year. In addition to numerous exhibition catalogues, articles, essays, and reviews, on subjects as divergent as folk art and comic strips as well as the work of major artists, her subsequent books include The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Husbands, Wives and Loves, Marriage and Its Discontents in Nineteenth-Century France (Yale University Press, 2003), and Another World: Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Print Culture (Yale University Press, 2017). She has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, and the Yale Center for British Art The French Government has appointed her Chevalier in the Ordre des palmes académiques, and the College Art Association honored her with its 2017 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award.