Kirby, Rollin. “YOU GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!” An obese Republican, Rollin Kirby’s stock character for the “N. Y. GOP,” and so labeled in this original sketch, stands in front of President Coolidge’s desk in the Oval Office, with the GOP figure holding a paper up for President Coolidge (and the viewer) to read: “OUT OF 175 PROHIBITION AGENTS IN ONE N.Y. DISTRICT, 103 ARE DEMOCRATS!” Graphite and pastel on cardboard. Signed, “Rollin Kirby.” An annotation, “4 Cols. Ed. page tonight,” is penciled in the lower left-hand corner.
An original, “four columns tonight,” editorial cartoon drawn by Rollin Kirby and titled and signed by him. Rollin Kirby (1875 – 1952) enjoyed enormous popularity in various publications, Scribner’s Magazine, Harpers, Century, Collier’s, Vanity Fair, Mail, New York World, and the New York World Telegram. He studied at the Art Students’ League in New York with John Twachtman, then with James A. McNeil Whistler in Paris, whose influence is in evidence in this magnificent elephant. He was featured in the American Artist, June 1940, pp. 4-7. Kirby was the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922 for “On the Road to Moscow”; in 1925 for “News from the Outside World”; and, a third time in 1929, for “Tammany!” Kirby worked as a cartoonist at the New York Mail, New York World and the New York Post.
Walter Lippman said in his preface to Rollin Kirby’s book, Highlights: a Cartoon History of the Nineteen Twenties, a Selection of His Cartoons in the ‘World’, Kirby drew his cartoons on the same day they appeared, usually less that ten hours elapsed between creation and appearance in print. Cartoons of a United States President in the Oval Office by Rollin Kirby are very scarce.