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George Cruikshank Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878.
Title: George Cruikshank Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1819-1866
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the British artist, caricaturist, illustrator, engraver. The collection contains 4 letters and 9 pieces of artwork.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

George Cruikshank was a British caricaturist, illustrator and engraver.

George Cruikshank was born in Bloomsbury, England in 1792. Cruikshank was taught art by his father, Isaac Cruikshank who was a caricaturist.

Cruikshank was influenced by English political cartoonist, James Gillray and Cruikshank finished several of Gillray’s pieces that were left unfinished at the time of his death in 1815. Several years later in 1820, Cruikshank received attention for his caricatures of Queen Caroline’s trial. Cruikshank regularly criticized what he saw as problems of contemporary society including the slave trade, the criminal code as well as French fashion and the French lifestyle in the work, Life in Paris (printed for John. Fairburn, 1822).

Cruikshank contributed to magazines such as Bentley's Miscellany and Ainsworth's Magazine and founded Wits. He also illustrated several books including Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838). In the 1840s, Cruikshank became active with the Temperance movement and illustrated materials promoting this campaign.

George Cruikshank died in 1878.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Cruikshank collection consists of two series: Artwork and Correspondence. Many of the items bear Cruikshank's signature. Artwork consists of sketches and finished engravings. Subject matter includes animals, mountains, the African Coast, streetscapes, and human figures. Correspondence contains four handwritten letters, two of which are dated. The letters are brief, one being more of a receipt than a piece of correspondence while another appears to be a short note offering sympathy.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Each item is foldered individually.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists and illustrators. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878.


Animals in art.
Caricatures and cartoons -- Great Britain.
Cartoonists -- Great Britain.
Engravers -- Great Britain.
Etchers -- Great Britain.
Illustrators -- Great Britain.
Mountains in art.


Atlantic Coast (Africa) -- In Art.
London (England) -- In Art.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Engravings (prints)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Cruikshank Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dr. Frank Piskor, 1968.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01
Revision history: 10 Oct 2008 - converted to EAD (MD); 9 Nov 2009 - added bio, scope, and detailed inventory (SK); 26 Oct 2012 - extent revised (MBD)

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Box 1 "To Calais" engraving 1 Aug 1835 - depicts men and women on a boat; published by Thomas McLean, Haymarket; black and white
Box 1 "From the West Indies" engraving 1 Aug 1835 - depicts men and women on a boat; published by Thomas McLean, Haymarket; black and white
Box 1 "The British Bee Hive" sketch undated - pencil and colored pencil
Box 1 Camels, elephants, human figure, sketch undated
Box 1 "The Coast of Africa" sketch undated - pencil, colored pencil
Box 1 Female- nude sketch undated - on the back of an envelope postmarked in London, also has writing
Box 1 Mountains, sketch circa Mar 1866 - pencil and watercolor, has writing by Cruikshank, drawn on the back of a piece of letterhead for engraver W. Keningale
Box 1 "Smoak Jack the Alarmist, Extinguishing the Second Great Fire of London (a la Gulliver) 12 Oct 1819 - ink and watercolor, published by T Tegg No. 111, Cheanside
Box 1 Street scene and carriages undated - pencil, drawn on a list and schedule
Box 1 Letter to Charles Mottram, English engraver 3 Oct 1863
Box 1 Letter to Charles A. Howell 2 Nov 1866
Box 1 Letter to unknown recipient regarding a manuscript undated
Box 1 Letter to Sleap undated - dated "Tuesday", appears to be regarding a death

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