The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg

by Matthew Innis |


March 2, 2019 through June 9, 2019

A prolific cartoonist and visionary, Rube Goldberg has become more famous for the inventions bearing his name than for his cartoons and political illustrations. Within his comic strips Goldberg created extremely complex machines that were built to perform a simple task. Beginning in 1912, the hand-drawn diagrams of his outlandish inventions established Rube Goldberg as one of the most popular cartoonists of the time, and the term “Rube Goldberg Machine” was coined. The idea behind Goldberg’s devices was so innovative that it has since been adapted countless times in popular culture—in Tom and Jerry cartoons, the board game Mouse Trap, episodes of Sesame Street, and the films Back to the Future and The Goonies, to name just a few.

Lead Sponsor: Keator Group, LLC.



Born in San Francisco in 1883, Reuben Garret Lucius Goldberg studied Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and soon found work mapping sewers and water lines for the city of San Francisco. Shortly after starting his engineering career, Goldberg quit to become a sports cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1907 he moved to New York where he began drawing cartoons for the New York Evening Mail. Cartoon creations such as Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Mike and Ike (They Look Alike), I Never Thought of That, and The Inventions of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts, which showcased the Rube Goldberg Machine, were syndicated throughout the country.


Where: Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, (MA)

When: March 2 – June 9, 2019

Norman Rockwell Museum

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