The Art of Dick Tracy: 75 years of Crooks, Dames, and Fedoras

The Chester Gould Dick Tracy Museum proudly presents our 75th Anniversary Retrospective Art Exhibition – THE ART OF DICK TRACY: 75 Years of Crooks, Dames and Fedoras – a decade by decade dissection of America’s most famous detective. The exhibition opened in the gallery of the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, Illinois on the evening of Friday, June 22, 2007 and free access to the exhibition continued through July 28th. By our calculations, over 6,000 individuals visited the Center to view the exhibition throughout the month-long event.

The exhibition explores the maturation of the Dick Tracy comic strip, its characters, the changing nature of crime, as well as aesthetic changes spanning its 75-year history. The exhibition is visually presented through more than one hundred examples of original artwork and high resolution reproduced examples of the Museum’s extensive collection of original newspaper Sunday pages and daily comic strips, in brilliant color and breathtaking black & white.

In commemoration of the upcoming 80th anniversary of the Dick Tracy comic strip in October, 2011, we graciously share with our members these exquisite examples of Chester Gould’s legacy and the work of those who carried the torch later, Rick Fletcher, Max Allan Collins and Dick Locher.

Gallery 1 – The Work of Chester Gould

Inside this gallery, you’ll be able to follow Dick Tracy as originally created by Chester Gould all the way back to the beginning, starting with the first strips published in the 1930s. Stay tuned as we continue to release more of these strips in the future!

Click here to enter the Chester Gould Gallery

Gallery 2 – The Work of Rick Fletcher (1977-1983)

Rick Fletcher, an assistant to Gould for 16 years, successfully continued the Dick Tracy strip (with true-crime fiction author Max Allan Collins) from Gould’s retirement in December, 1977 until his untimely death in June, 1983.

Click here to enter the Rick Fletcher Gallery

Gallery 3 – The Work of Dick Locher (1983-2011)

In partnership with both writers Collins and, later, Mike Kilian, Dick Locher – another Gould art assistant – was the chief artist of Dick Tracy for over 27 years, retiring in March, 2011.

Click here to enter the Dick Locher Gallery

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“When a criminal dies, he leaves his family an estate of hate, a mortgage of remorse, and an income of shame.”
- Chester Gould
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