Around the Quads
Cartoonist Koren Completes Columbia Circle
The works of famed cartoonist Edward Koren ’57 are returning to the place where he began drawing the creatures that led to his immense success in the art world.
An exhibit of Koren’s cartoons is being shown through Saturday, June 12, at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery.
“Having my work shown at Columbia is a special kind of homecoming,” Koren writes in the exhibit’s catalogue. “Columbia has been the rootstock of all I’ve done since graduating and moving on, and this exhibition is like bringing all my familyand friends on paper back to show them where they came from — a trip to the old country for the next generation.”
Koren began drawing cartoons for Jester while a student and was editor-in-chief of the humor magazine his senior year.
“He was always the star,” says David Rosand ’59, ’65 GSAS, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History, Koren’s successor as editor of Jester and curator of the exhibit. “We all hung around waiting for his first New Yorker submission to be accepted.”
That acceptance came in 1962, and for almost five decades, Koren has been dazzling his erudite audience with playful make-believe, serving as a Dr. Seuss for grown-ups. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world, with nearly 1,000 of his drawings enlivening the pages of The New Yorker.
While the exhibit is the first full show of Koren’s work at Columbia, it also serves as a conclusion for his friend Rosand, who is retiring from Columbia a few weeks after the show is completed.
“It’s very personal,” Rosand says. “It’s a reaching back to my most glorious days at Columbia when I was a freshman and drawing for Jester.”
Ethan Rouen ’04J