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Boris Drucker Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: CMV
Date: 4 Dec 1978

Biographical History

Boris Drucker was an American artist, illustrator and cartoonist. Drucker lived and worked in Philadelphia for most of his career, and died there in January 2009.

Boris Drucker was born in Center City Philadelphia on 22 May 1920. After graduating from West Philadelphia High School in 1938, he received his training at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (later known as the Philadelphia College of Art, now part of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia). Drucker got his start in magazine publishing in 1946, when he had come back from his overseas experience in the Second World War. His final years at the art school had put him on an advertising track, and from the late 1940s until the middle of the 1960s, this is what he pursued in Philadelphia.

In 1966, after a brief stint of teaching advertising and commercial art, Drucker went to New York to open a studio and at the age of forty-six was accepted as a New Yorker cartoonist. The third phase of Drucker' s career had started. Cartooning and advertising had been the two main pillars of his early work, but he began to work more directly for industry clients for whom cartoon illustrations communicated more clearly than photographs. Along the way, Drucker found time to work up various ideas for cartoon strips, including a 1960s proposal for Future Boy. In the last phase of his productive and varied career, Drucker concentrated on commercial work for industry clients and created batch after batch of cartoons that commented on the passing scene with his unique attitude and drawing style. In addition to hundreds of published works, he produced approximately twelve thousand rough drawings that he donated to the Special Collections Research Center.

After all these years of having his work published and with all the recognition he has received, Drucker commented that "You never loose the kick of seeing your work in print."

In 2005 Syracuse University sponsored a retrospective exhibition of Boris Drucker’s work “Don’t Pay Any Attention To Him, He’s 90% Water” at the Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery in New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Boris Drucker Papers includes original artwork, correspondence, sketchbooks, cartoons, personal memorabilia, scrapbooks, and illustrations for his children's book, Henrietta. The collection is currently undergoing extensive reprocessing to incorporate new material.

Arrangement of the Collection

Original cartoons are arranged based on numbers assigned to them by Drucker. Commercial art is arranged alphabetically by client/company name. Cartoon series are arranged alphabetically by name of the series. Published cartoons are arranged alphabetically by name of publication in which they appeared. Correspondence is alphabetical by correspondent. Memorabilia is alphabetical by type or topic.


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.

Related Material

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

Subject Headings


Drucker, Boris.

Associated Titles

Drucker, Boris -- Henrietta.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Commercial art.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Boris Drucker Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Boris Drucker, 1966-1987.

Table of Contents


Correspondence/subject files