From the Artleytoons Archives
Jesse Helms, five-term Republican U.S. Senator from North Carolina was no stranger to controversial remarks, including the usage of terminology for black people that often made North Carolinians blush. He was also known as a staunch critic to public support for the arts. This came to a head in 1989, when a controversial touring exhibit of homoerotic photographs by Robert Maplethorpe and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, was scheduled for display at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC. Jessie used this provocative exhibit as proof public funding for the arts should be completely suspended.
This prompted my cartoon from the summer of 1989. A fellow cartoonist, who was at the Charlotte Observer at the time, called to tell me it was published in his paper. So, with all likelihood, Senator Helms who was an avid fan of editorial cartoons (especially those critical of his policies) saw this one.
(click on image for a larger view)