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"Wordless!" with Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston

  • Note: We apologize; this event will not be live streamed due to a change in the rights agreement.


Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
825 N. Cascade Ave. (map)



“Wordless!” is a multimedia performance by Art Spiegelman with music by saxophonist Phillip Johnston, and is the keynote event for the 13th annual Cornerstone Arts Week (Jan. 20-24). In his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece “Maus,” a moving father-son memoir about the Holocaust which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, Spiegelman changed the definition of comics forever. “Wordless!” is a new and stimulating hybrid of slides, talk, and musical performance in which he probes further into the nature and possibilities of his medium. The originally was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for GRAPHIC.

Spiegelman, noted as a historian and theorist of comics as well as an artist, collaborates with Johnston, the critically acclaimed jazz composer who wrote all-new scores he will be performing live with his sextet. Johnston’s music accompanies the cartoonist’s personal tour of the first legitimate “graphic novels,” silent picture stories made by early 20th century masters like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross, and their influence on him. As Spiegelman explores “the battle between words and pictures,” he smashes at the hyphen between High and Low Art in a presentation featuring a new work drawn specifically for this project, “Shaping Thought.”

Each year's Cornerstone Arts Week is built around a question, and this year's question is a quote from Spiegelman: "What Are the New Words and Music?" 

"Wordless!" with Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston
  • Open to Public: Yes
  • Admission Fee:
    • $5 general public
    • free with a CC ID
  • Tickets: Available at the Worner Desk with a CC ID starting Dec. 19, 2013, and available for the general public starting Jan. 17, 2014.
  • Sponsored By: Sponsored by the NEH Professorship, CC Humanities and Social Science Departments, the Cultural Attraction Fund, Dean's Office, VP for Student Life's Office, and the President's Office.
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