Modern Graphic History Library unveils digital Thrill Seekers exhibit

Charts growth of men's magazines from 1940s to 1960s

The Modern Graphic History Library (MGHL) has launched a digital companion to Thrill Seekers: The Rise of Men’s Magazines, an exhibition on display through Jan. 31 in Olin Library’s Ginkgo Reading Room and Grand Staircase Lobby.

Thrill Seekers charts the growth of men’s magazines from the 1940s to the 1960s, drawing on the MGHL’s unique collections. Highlights include original artwork, tear sheets and whole issues of Esquire, Playboy, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, as well as pulp fiction and girlie magazines. Artists featured include Al Parker, Robert Weaver, Ernest Trova and Robert Andrew Parker, among others.

The digital exhibit, created by MGHL library assistant Jolie Braun with digitization assistance from student worker Sarah Croop, is arranged chronologically and thematically. In addition to an extensive image collection, the site includes bibliographic information, cultural history, recommended readings and other resources. The homepage URL is

“The exhibit explores different themes such as the post-war fear of foreign enemies, and the reintegration of soldiers into society, the family and the workplace,” says Skye Lacerte, curator of the MGHL.

The MGHL is a special collections unit of the Washington University Libraries. Comprised of original art and printed material from many fields of popular American pictorial graphic culture, the MGHL focuses on 20th-century illustration, including artists’ working materials and sketches and original artwork from books, magazines and advertising. Visit the MGHL website to see other digital exhibits and explore the collections.