Jay Williams
Jay Williams

Jay Williams, the Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Religion emeritus, recently published Thomas Nast, America's Greatest Political Cartoonist. Published by Edwin Mellen Press, the book details how Nast’s many illustrations and cartoons relate to and illuminate American history.

According to the publisher, “Williams presents Nast’s work in such a way as to bring together politics, religion, and culture in the images themselves. While popularizing these images, Nast also sanctified them. And in the tension between the two realms, Nast’s work lives on.”

Thomas Nast is well known for his depiction of Santa Claus and political icons including the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant and Uncle Sam. His cartoons, mostly political in nature, appeared in Harper’s Weekly from the 1860s to the 1880s.

Williams has collected original Nast prints for many years. Selections from his extensive collection have been exhibited in shows throughout the Northeast as well as on campus.

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