WW II Cartoonist Featured at Ike Center

Even during the extreme suffering of war – art from the human spirit comes through to help make sense of the calamity.

A traveling exhibit, Drawn to Combat: Bill Mauldin & the Art of War lands in Abilene this weekend as part of the D-Day Commemoration and Concert June 4th at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

William Snyder, Curator at the Eisenhower Museum tells KSAL News that Mauldin’s beloved and scruffy G.I. characters known as Willie and Joe caught the eye of U.S. General George S. Patton.



Snyder says news of General Patton’s tirade reached the desk of the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who immediately took the cartoonist’s side.


A young Bill Mauldin, photos courtesy of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Mauldin’s work will be on display this weekend and runs through November 27. The exhibition will highlight the active role that Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Bill Mauldin took in documenting and satirizing foreign and domestic military and political affairs throughout his career. As a nationally syndicated political cartoonist for more than 50 years, Mauldin covered everything from the civil rights movement to sports, but he is perhaps best known for his work covering military topics, beginning with his characters Willie and Joe during WWII. Cartoons from the Eisenhower Presidential Library’s own holdings will supplement this extraordinary exhibit. Gifted to the library after Eisenhower’s death, Mauldin’s published tribute to General Eisenhower will be featured in the supplement.


The Symphony at Sunset Annual D-Day Commemoration Concert returns to the campus grounds at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum on Saturday, June 4th as well. Admission to the concert and museum is free all day. Concert activities begin at 4 p.m. with Salina-based band Everyday Lights performing at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 1st Infantry Division Band at 7 p.m., and the Salina Symphony takes the stage just as the sun sets around 8:30 p.m. Food and beverage vendors open at 4 p.m.