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Vic Herman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DMW
Date: Nov 1979

Biographical History

Vic Herman (1919-1999) was an American cartoonist and illustrator. He worked primarily in corporate art, and created many familiar characters such as Winnie the Wac (U.S. Navy), Elsie the Cow (Borden), Reddy Kilowatt (electricity generation industry), 7-UP Sam (7-Up), Lernda Lesson, Roscoe, Al Vann, Keg and Case, Sad Shad (Johnson & Johnson), Mike Master, Two Dollar Joe, Will Selmore, Hy Proof, Mr Magic Motion Mojud Man, The Phillips 66 man, and Bert Brew. He also illustrated and wrote books for elementary public school children and taught at schools in California and at New York University.

Herman began to develop a love for Mexico when he attended Mexican-American elementary schools as a child in California, and when he returned to painting later in his career, some of his work focused on Mexico and Mexican themes. His paintings created a cultural bridge between Mexico and the United States, since both governments individually sponsored his work, and he was known as the "Norman Rockwell of Mexico" and "Ambassador With A Brush." Other high points of his career included covering Mexico for Gourmet magazine, being given a gallery to display his works in Los Angeles from the Mexican government, and being the only American or Mexican to sketch the dances of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico while on tour.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Vic Herman Papers consists of correspondence, memorabilia, original art and printed material. The bulk of the collection consists of commercial work done for the 7-Up company.

Correspondence contains a small number of letters to Herman from various individuals. A few items relate to Herman's 1973 "Faces of Mexico" exhibit.

Memorabilia includes several articles about Herman and a variety of articles, clippings, advertisements and other material relating to Herman's 1973 "Faces of Mexico" exhibit.

Original art contains paste-ups, sketches, and photocopied proof pages for work Herman did for 7-Up, as well as magazine cartoons and illustrations, some original Winne the WAC cartoons, and miscellaneous sketches and color work.

Printed material contains final printed version of some of the 7-Up publications and a few magazine illustrations.

Arrangement of the Collection

All material is arranged alphabetically by type and then by title; within each title items are arranged chronologically.


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

My Days Are Made of Butterflies by Sano M. Galea'i Fa'apouli, illustrated by Vic Herman, transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.

Subject Headings


Herman, Vic, 1919-1999.
Winnie the WAC.

Corporate Bodies

Seven-Up Company.
United States. -- Army -- Military life.
United States. -- Army. -- Women's Army Corps.

Associated Titles

Pardon my sex, doctor.
Stars and stripes (Newspaper)


Cartoonists -- United States.
Commercial art.
Illustrators -- United States.
Nurses -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Physicians -- Caricatures and cartoons.


Mexico -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Vic Herman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents



Original art

Printed material