John T. McCutcheon Cartoon Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains 79 original pen and ink cartoons on illustration board dating from 1901 through the early 1940s. The bulk of these were created during McCutcheon's time with the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to 1946. The subjects of the cartoons range from local to international events and issues regarding culture, economics and politics. Both World Wars and the Great Depression make up the bulk of the illustrations in this collection, but automobiles, family relations, journalism, recreational activities and women’s suffrage are other recurring topics.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restriction.
Conditions Governing Use
Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Biographical / Historical
John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949) worked as a political and satirical cartoonist on the staff of several Chicago newspapers. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1889 from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, McCutcheon took his first job at the Chicago Record, later named the Chicago Record-Herald. The bulk of his career, however, was spent at the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to 1946. His cartoons offered commentary on a range of topics spanning economics, politics, social change and international affairs. Although McCutcheon is best known for his illustration work, he also served as a Chicago Tribune correspondent for the Spanish American War, the Philippine insurrection, the South African (Boer) War and World War I, from both the German and Allied fronts. Additionally, he collaborated as an illustrator with his longtime friend from Indiana and Purdue University, the humorist George Ade, on several publications including the popular “fables” books. In 1931, McCutcheon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the cartoon “A Wise Economist Asks a Question.”
McCutcheon married Evelyn Shaw in 1917. After his death in 1949, Mrs. McCutcheon distributed his original drawings to several institutions in the Midwest, and also helped to publish his autobiography, Drawn from Memory. In addition to the publications authored by McCutcheon, there are several titles that he illustrated. A selection of these may be found by searching the library’s catalog.
3 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes (79 cartoons))
Language of Materials
John T. McCutcheon worked as a political and satirical cartoonist on the staff of several Chicago newspapers between 1889 and 1946. He spent the bulk of his career at the Chicago Tribune where his cartoons offered commentary on a range of topics spanning economics, politics, social change and international affairs. The majority of the cartoons in this collection come from his time at the Tribune.
The cartoons are listed chronologically with undated cartoons alphabetized by title at the end.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Mrs. John T. (Evelyn Shaw) McCutcheon donated 65 of the cartoons prior to 1974. The additional 14 cartoons were found in collection and no documentation concerning the provenance of these materials exists
- American Wit and Humor, Pictorial -- History -- 20th Century -- Sources Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Caricatures and Cartoons -- History -- 20th Century -- Sources Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Depressions--1929 -- Caricatures and cartoons Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Caricatures and cartoons Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Caricatures and cartoons Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the John T. McCutcheon Cartoon Collection
- Michelle McCoy
- 2016 March
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
- 2021: Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy,
Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository
Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States