• Title
    • John R. Fischetti Collection
    • John R. Fischetti Collection RG 1000.02
  • PublisherCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositoryCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • OriginationFischetti, John R.
  • Physical Description4.96 Cubic Feet 6 document cases, 6 print boxes Forms of materials: cartoons, illustrations, sketchbooks, photographs, print materials
  • Date
    • 1945-2003
    • mostly 1945-1980
  • AbstractJohn R. Fischetti (1916-1980) worked as an editorial and political cartoonist for over thirty years and was employed by several prestigious publications including Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune, and Stars & Stripes. This collection of Fischetti's personal papers illustrates his professional work and creative process through his illustrations and concept sketchbooks.

John Fischetti was born in Brooklyn on September 27, 1916 and died in Chicago on November 18, 1980. After graduating from Pratt Technical Institute, he went to work for Disney Studios in California as an animator and later moved to Chicago, Illinois where he was an illustrator for the Chicago Sun newspaper (now Chicago Sun-Times). He entered the U.S. Army in 1942 where he cartooned for Stars & Stripes newspaper; he also moonlighted at the Paris Post. After his return from Europe in 1946, he went to New York to do freelance work for advertising agencies and magazines.

Between 1951 and 1962, he worked with the Newspaper Enterprise Association in New York as an editorial artist. In 1962, Fischetti joined the New York Herald Tribune where he popularized the horizontal cartoon format with grey tones, now a standard of the field. With the demise of the New York Herald Tribune in 1967, Fischetti returned to Chicago, Illinois to work as a political cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News. When that paper folded in 1978, he worked for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Fischetti was the recipient of the National Headliners Club medal in 1951, two awards from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists in 1956 and 1958, and four consecutive awards from the National Cartoonists Society from 1962 thorough 1965. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for the body of cartoons he drew in 1968. By the time he died in 1980, his cartoons had appeared in publications such as the Chicago Sun, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune, and Stars & Stripes. He also illustrated several books, a number of them for children, and his non-editorial work appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's magazine, Woman's Home Companion, Cosmopolitan, and Punch magazine.

The John R. Fischetti Collection dates from 1945 to 2003 in 4.96 cubic feet (12 boxes), with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945 to 1980. The collection strength lies in the editorial illustrations and concept sketchbooks as these illustrate Fischetti's creative process for publications like The Chicago Daily News, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Punch magazine. The collection also contains original drawings, photographs and other personal material of John R. Fischetti, story concept illustrations, and photo-mechanically reproduced drawings. A small amount of work by other artists is also in the collection, including: Pat Oliphant, Bill Mauldin, Jack Higgins, and Walt Scott.

Writing on his editorial cartoon sketchbooks in his autobiography, Fischetti stated "Before 1961 I used to doodle ideas on the backs of envelopes, scraps of paper and yellow copy paper... Since even half-formed ideas are invaluable, I decided to use layout pads for the gestating periods. By dating each page, it turned out to be a sort of log of historical and personal events." (Zinga, Zinga, Za!)

This collections has been arranged into seven series by subject, with Series 1 containing four sub-series arranged by subject. Materials within Series 1 through 6 have been arranged chronologically. Materials in Series 7 have been arranged alphabetically by surname.

Series 1: Editorial Illustrations, 1945-1980 Sub-series 1: Marshal Philipe Petain's Trial sketches, 1945 Sub-series 2: Political Convention Illustrations, 1956, 1972 Sub-series 3: Concept Sketchbooks, 1960-1980 Sub-series 4: Finished Cartoons, 1950s, 1962-1980 Series 2: Travel Illustrations, 1945-1979 Series 3: Punch Magazine, 1958-1963 Series 4: Original Drawings, 1960s-1970s Series 5: Story Concepts, 1969-1972 Series 6: Personal Material, 1954-1977 Series 7: Other Artists' Work, 1967-2003

Overall, materials in this collection are intellectually arranged. However, they have been physically divided in various boxes based on format, size, and preservation needs.

Folder/Item Title, (date), Series Title, John R. Fischetti Collection, College Archives & Special Collections, Columbia College Chicago.

While the entirety of this collection is available for research in person, portions of it have been digitized and made available online including:

Editorial Cartoons, 1962-1980 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cartoons/

The Editorial Cartoons collection is comprised of original illustrations created by John R. Fischetti between 1962 and 1980 for various newspapers, such as The New York Herald Tribune, The Chicago Daily News, and The Chicago Sun-Times. Covering various political topics during this time, Fischetti's illustrations address the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter presidencies, foreign and domestic affairs, elections, the economy, public health, and civil rights.

Concept Sketchbooks, 1960-1979 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_fischetti_notebooks/

The digitized notebooks of John Fischetti contain preliminary sketches of political cartoons and ideas for his daily editorial cartoons dating from 1960 to 1980. These works showcase local issues and national ones such as the Watergate scandal, the energy crisis, the economy, and terrorism.

Travel Illustrations, 1945-1974 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_fischetti_travel/

A selection of John R. Fischetti's completed travel illustrations from Mexico, France, and Denmark. Also featured are drawings from Chicago and New York, both places where he lived and worked.

John Fischetti Papers at Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois

John Fischetti Cartoons collection at the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries, Syracuse, New York

Chicago History Museum. Related materials and Fischetti sketches at the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois

The entirety of the John R. Fischetti collection is available to all users.

Materials are the property of Columbia College Chicago. Intellectual property rights of work belong to the original creators. Materials within the collection that are published and copyrighted maintain their copyright protections and must be used according to United States Copyright Law. Use of this collection and its materials is understood to be primarily for research, teaching, and creative study; additional uses, such as publication, exhibition, or other appropriate purposes may be considered upon consultation with the Archivist.

All physical materials and reformatted media must be viewed during a scheduled appointment time within the College Archives & Special Collections office. No materials are to be circulated unless otherwise consulted with the Archivist.

Researchers viewing digitized, online material (http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_fischetti/) from this collection may access these materials from home via the World Wide Web 24/7.

Additional materials purchased at auction October 2005

Additional gift of completed cartoons from the executor in May 2008

Additional gift of original illustration in March 2011

Additional gift of letter and Velox print in April 2014

This competition is held annually at Columbia College Chicago and features the work of professional editorial cartoonists, with one chosen as a winner. The signed, original work is auctioned to replenish funds to the student scholarship award, the Fischetti Fund at Columbia College Chicago.

Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Competition

  • Subject
    • Cartoonists -- United States
    • Editorial cartoons
    • Caricatures and cartoons
    • World politics -- Caricatures and cartoons
    • Travel -- Drawings
    • Journalism
  • Geographic CoverageChicago (Ill.)
  • Names
    • Fischetti, John R.
    • Higgins, Jack, 1954-
    • Oliphant, Pat, 1935-
    • Mauldin, Bill, 1921-2003
    • Pétain, Philippe, 1856-1951