[Map portrait of George Wallace.] Corley County State Park — no bussin’ allowed…. Vint Lawrence, James Vinton.

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[Map portrait of George Wallace.] Corley County State Park — no bussin’ allowed…

[N.p.], 1975. Black & white offset lithograph[?] on wove paper (image size, 12.75” x 10”; sheet size, 17” x 11”) Signed by the artist in ink below the image at lower right; printed signature and date “’75” in the image, lower right. CONDITION: Very good, slight mat tone.

A powerful topographical map in the form of a portrait of the notoriously racist politician George Corley Wallace representing the entire state of Alabama as a satirical state park, created by a prominent caricaturist.

Wallace’s portrait fills out the nearly the whole state as well as the panhandle of Florida, which constitutes much of his lower neck and bears the title “Corley County State Park No bussin’ allowed,” the latter phrase of course a reference to his opposition to integrated schools. Numerous place-names and phrases satirize the policies and actions of Wallace and his supporters. “Never Overcome Town” plays off the Civil Rights Movement chant “We Shall Overcome.” The “Little Red School House Monument” refers to the 1963 incident (known as “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”) that brought Wallace national notoriety for standing in front of the entrance to the University of Alabama in a vain attempt to block the path of black students and prevent them from enrolling in schools. Also damning are “Supremacy Plateau” (on Wallace’s forehead), “Good Ole Boy Military Reservation” (his hair); “Cotton” (‘filling’ his left ear); and “Patronage Point” (on his nose—whose elevation reads, “1976,” a reference to his run for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination). Other colorful place-names include “Right Fork Mainstream,” “GOP Gorge,” “Folksey Springs” (located in his mouth), “Little Forin Policee River,” “Strange Bedfellow Falls,” “Bolting Donkey Rapids,” and “Postbellum Homes.”Wallace’s “Campaign Trail” leads from “Never Overcome Town” to “Dixie Trail.” Also included are a couple of nods to the University of Alabama football team: “Crimson Tide Creek” and “Bear Bryant Picnic Area.”

Born in Alabama, George Wallace (1919–1998) served as the state’s 45th governor for four terms and made three unsuccessful bids for the presidency on the Democratic ticket. Endorsed by the KKK, he is mainly remembered for his segregationist and populist views. In a 1963 address, he declared that he stood for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” After an assassination attempt in 1972, Wallace was left paralyzed below the waist for the rest of his life, but nevertheless continued his career in politics.

Raised in New Jersey, Vint (James Vinton) Lawrence (1939–2016) left a career as a CIA paramilitary officer to become an acclaimed artist/caricaturist, producing drawings of politicians and celebrities for The Washington Post, The New Republic, and other publications. Lawrence’s father served in a WWII-era precursor to the CIA. Lawrence graduated from Princeton in 1960 and joined the CIA, serving in Laos from 1962 to 1966 (during which time he had a close relationship with the Hmong leader Vang Pao). Upon his return to the U.S. in 1966, he quit the CIA and pursued a career as an artist. In 1969, he sold his first caricature (of Philip Roth) to The Washington Post. During the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, Lawrence provided illustrations for The New Republic, where he was a contributing editor. The Washington Post’s art critic Paul Richard noted of Lawrence that “He does not burlesque his subjects. He shapes their face into symbolic objects that illuminate the news.” A New Republic editor praised Lawrence’s “wry sensibility” and “talent for intricacy.” After living in Russia for several years with his second wife who was a foreign correspondent, Lawrence moved to Norfolk, CT, and retired from editorial cartooning in the early 2000s.

Rare. No copies recorded in Worldcat, nor does a google search yield any results.

REFERENCES: Vint Lawrence at illustrationhistory.org; “George C. Wallace” Encyclopædia Britannica

Item #7025

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