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 Thomas E. Powers  (1870 - 1939)

About: Thomas E. Powers


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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York      Known for: editorial cartoons, painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Thomas Powers

Connecticut/New York

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editorial cartoons, painting

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New York Armory Show of 1913
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Political cartoonist Thomas E. Powers, 1870-1939, was represented in the 1913 Armory Show, in New York City.

Fourteen of his India ink political drawings are part of the Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature & Cartoon, in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

One, a "Banquet Scene," gives an idea of Powers' intentions. As described by the Library of Congress, "Men and animals gather at banquet tables in a hall labeled "Down & Outs." They are political losers associated with incompetence, corruption, scandal, and electoral defeat, about to feast on crow. The following members are seated at the head table from left to right: Sultan Mehmed V, ruler of Turkey; William 'Big Bill' Edwards, a New York Commissioner of Street Cleaning; Rhinelander Waldo, a Police Commissioner during a period of scandal and corruption in the Police Department; Brooklyn Tammany leader John H. McCooey surmounted by a shamrock; Tammany boss Charles F. Murphy, who stands presiding over the banquet; defeated Tammany candidate for mayor, Edward C. McCall; Tom Foley, first deputy of the State Highway Department; Herman A. Metz of Brooklyn, defeated in the election for State Comptroller in 1913; New York County Sheriff, Julius Harburger; and former New York Governor John A. Dix. In front of the head table, two empty seats await the arrival of deposed Mexican dictator, Victoriano Huerta and impeached New York Governor, William Sulzer. Two smaller tables are situated before the head table. The chairs on the left are occupied by former President, William Howard Taft; ex-Senator Chauncey Depew; and former Ohio Senator, Joseph Foraker. Taft wears an academic cap and gown, a reference to his position as law professor at Yale University, assumed after his defeat in the 1912 presidential election. Foraker wears a "Standard Oil" can tied to his ankle. Seated at the table on the right are the bruised and battered Tammany Tiger with a patch on his eye and his dinner companion, the defeated Bull Moose. In the foreground, several of Powers's stock figures of 'Gloom' serve "D&O" cocktails. In the background a man claiming to be a bagman, is told to enter."


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