“Knecht” the Dots: Life through Art

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Some individuals are gifted with the ability of drawing and art. We see this from these drawing by Karl Kae Knecht. Produced in 1909, Knecht draw a picture of what he and his wife, Jannie, did throughout 1908. He is synonymous for bringing Mesker Park Zoo, Evansville and Indiana’s first zoo, in 1928. After a successful fundraiser in 1929, Kay the Elephant was purchased (Evansville Museum, 2017).

Club Treasurer: February 14, 1910 to February 14, 1912. Karl Kae Knecht, Courier Cartoonist, 1912.

Karl Kae Knecht, 1912.

Knecht was born in 1883 in Iroquois, South Dakota Territory. He came to Evansville in 1906 to work at the Evansville Courier after completing his degree at the Art Institute of Chicago. Knecht served as a cartoonist and the first photographer at the Evansville Courier. Knecht remained with the Evansville Courier until 1960, after working there for fifty-four years. Knecht passed away July 28, 1972 (Evansville Museum, 2017).

These beautiful, one-of-a-kind sketches can be viewed at the University Archives and Special Collections; however, if you are interested in viewing some of Knecht’s cartoon, the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library digitalized many of his original cartoons.


Evansville Museum (2017, April). The far-reaching impact of Karl Kae Knecht. Retrieved from https://evansvillemuseum.org/events/pen-paper-remembering-karl-kae-knecht/


John Leech Cartoons

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Born on August 29, 1817 in London, England, John Leech became a well-known British caricaturist. His best known work came from Punch Magazine in 1841 and created over three thousand caricatures. He focused on an array of issues: social reform, anti-Americanism, the Crimean War, and much more. Leech collaborated with Sir John Tenniel and created John Bull, the American equivalent of Uncle Sam. Leech passed away on October 29, 1864 in London, England. These cartoons are view-able at the University Archives on the 3rd floor of Rice Library.