The Changing Face of Herbert Hoover


Today when we open up a newspaper or news-magazine, amongst the vast amounts of text, poignant photographs and flashy ads, our eyes are drawn to a cartoonist’s rendition of the latest political topic. Political cartoons provide an entertaining summary of the political environment during a specific time period by exemplifying a public opinion in an often comical nature. However, historians are beginning to realize the lucrative history that can be gained through the study of political cartoons from the past. Among other important elements of historical study, Thomas Milton Kemnitz claims, “…they [cartoons] can provide insights into the popular attitudes that underlay public opinion, insights that may be more difficult to glean from written material or from other evidence of behavior.”

You may click on each cartoon to enlarge the image.

Website Created by CJ Brooks, Mara Oda, Mary Kate Schroeder, and Katie Gieszler

Special Thanks to Craig Wright & Matt Schaefer at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

In this exhibit, you will be able to explore the “changing face” of Herbert Hoover from the time of his 1928 campaign until the election of 1932 through cartoons. We have taken specific events from his presidency that we found reoccurring in political cartoons and provided you with a history that surrounds these events. Kemnitz claims that in studying political cartoons, “There are six interrelated areas for investigation: the artists, the means by which the cartoons reach the public, their language and symbols, their relation to other means of communication, their intended function, and their audience.” You as a visitor have a duty to explore these political cartoons; to read beyond the black and white statement and explore what you may see as the changing opinion of Hoover. How was he viewed by public opinion from beginning to end? What biases do you feel are apparent in these illustrations? What do you believe the illustrations are missing? Watch the change throughout each wing and throughout his presidency.