Sweeney Megenity's Collection of Henry Major's The Gay Philosopher

Gay Philosopher 1

The November exhibition at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art, Marysville, features a unique, one-of-a-kind collection of artwork owned by Francis “Sweeney” Megenity.  


The collection features The Gay Philosopher, a stock character created by Henry Major and used for everything from lamps to paperweights.   The Philosopher’s image was produced on poster calendars, mail blotters, greeting cards, playing cards and glassware.


In addition to the image, the Philosopher would wax poetic and offer advice:


“It isn’t what you learn, it’s what you do with what you learn.”


“Happiness is like potato salad; share it, and you’ve got a picnic.”


“Many can rise to the occasion, but few know when to sit down.”


“It’s tough to find a good market for bad merchandise.”


The art center has special hours for the exhibition:


Thursday, November 9, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.


Sunday, November 12, from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.


Thursday, November 16, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.


Saturday, November 18, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.


Saturday, November 25, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.


Sunday, November 26, from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.


Senior Saturday will be from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Saturday, November 18.  The art center will be open for those 60 years and older.  Coffee and breakfast foods will be served.  In addition to viewing the collection, seniors are invited to socialize with others and enjoy the art center’s ambiance.


The artist, Henry Major, was a caricaturist and painter. He was born in Hungary in 1889, and moved to the United States after a career as a caricaturist in Vienna and London. He became well known throughout the 1920s for traveling around the country caricaturing local politicians, businessmen and actors. 


Event Date

November 94:00 pm
November 1212:00 pm
November 164:00 pm
November 1810:00 am
November 2510:00 am
November 2612:00 pm


Lee Dam Center for Fine Art
201 South 9th Street //