Immigration and Caricature: Ethnic Images from the Appel Collection explores the role of caricature and stereotype in forming American values and attitudes about the multicultural development of the United States. It utilizes a collection of immigrant and ethnic caricatures from popular graphics dating primarily from the Civil War to World War I, a period of massive migration to the United States. To modern Americans, the contents are sometimes humorous, sometimes very disturbing. Nevertheless, the collection offers great insight into American cultural attitudes and is a remarkable resource for the study of American cultural history.
The items in this exhibition consist of a variety of print media such as cartoons, postcards, trade cards, and prints and lithographs, it is a selection from over 4,000 pieces which were donated to the MSU Museum by Dr. John and Selma Appel.
Pictured: “Welcome to All” This cartoon reflects the welcome extended to immigrants of the 1880s and the concept of America as a land of refuge.