The Society is pleased to present an archive of original artwork created by illustrator and author Rick Meyerowitz for the seminal satirical magazine “National Lampoon.”
National Lampoon was founded in 1969 by Harvard Lampoon alumni Doug Kenney, Henry Beard, and Robert Hoffman. Within months of its first issue, published in April 1970, National Lampoon became one of the most popular magazines in the United States. By 1974 it had a average monthly circulation of 830,000 and a pass-along circulation twelve times that. Individual issues had sly and often punning themes—such as “Head Issue,” “Blight,” and “Religion for Fun and Prophet.” Every issue of the magazine was bursting with written pieces of various lengths; satirically bawdy fumetti; blasphemous cartoons; outrageous caricatures; and articles conceived, written, and illustrated by illustrators. The result was a ground-breaking mix of brilliant cutting-edge wit and the lowest frat house gags that often pushed far beyond the boundaries of what had previously been considered appropriate and acceptable in American humor—and still does today.
Rick Meyerowitz was a prolific contributor of both artwork and written pieces for National Lampoon from its first issue in 1970 until close to its last in 1991. He collaborated with many of the magazine’s writers on an astonishing variety of topics and themes. Among his most notable works were the “Mona Gorilla” (Mona Lisa as a gorilla); “DODOSAURS: The Dinosaurs That Didn’t Make It” (which he and Henry Beard turned into a 1983 book); the widely recognized poster for the movie Animal House; and most recently, “DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: The Writers and Artists Who Made The National Lampoon Insanely Great,” published by Abrams as a coffee table size visual history of the Lampoon. A documentary film of the same name was released last year.
An Opening Reception will take place on Friday, March 4th. And a Gallery Talk with Rick Meyerowitz will take place on Wednesday, March 23rd. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.