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John Sorensen Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: 1968

Biographical History

John Hjelmhof Sorensen (1924-1969) was a cartoonist, illustrator and commercial artist. Born and educated in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sorensen worked for most of his career in the United States. His cartoons appeared in many major publications — Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Review. He was the president of the advertising company Sorensen & Associates, located in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Sorensen Papers contains artwork, correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, and printed material.

Artwork contains original artwork by Sorensen. The vast majority of these retain the numbering given them by Sorensen and are in that order; there are gaps in the sequences, whether due to missing cartoons or deliberate non-sequential numbering is unknown. Following these are a few miscellaneous cartoons, sketches, drawings, and other original artwork. Included in the miscellaneous cartoons in this series are two untitled strips featuring a character named Ozni Chubb (three copies of one strip, one hand-colored by Sorensen, and one copy of a second strip). Also included here are several original pieces of art for a real estate or possibly a construction company (Melvin Holmes or Alvin Holmes).

Correspondence-subject files consist mostly of incoming correspondence from clients (American Medical Association, Cavalier, Saturday Evening Post, True, Writer's Digest) and agents (Ben Roth Agency, Ray Morin). There is a folder of "how-to" and other cartooning-related clippings and articles (tips on cartooning, how to write gags, how to submit ruffs, bios of other cartoonists, etc) as well as a few other assorted topics. Of particular interest is a folder of correspondence outlining a cartoon called "Mack Mars" which Sorensen proposed to do in collaboration with Harry Ashmore of the Arkansas Gazette, including one printed example from an unknown newspaper.

A small amount of Memorabilia contains clippings about Sorensen, photographs of a few of his paintings (including one of his wife), and two pages of ads for his company, Sorensen Advertising.

Printed material contains printed examples of Sorensen's work, ranging from advertisements and cartoons published in newspapers to cards, magazine covers, letterheads, and assorted other items, including Sorensen's covers for the Journal of Arkansas Education which he did for more than ten years. At the end of this series are a few clippings of cartoons by other artists.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged in alphabetical order except for the original cartoons by Sorensen; these are arranged in numeric order according to Sorensen's own numbering system.


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


Sorensen, John.


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

Genres and Forms

Book jackets.
Cartoons (humorous images)
Drawings (visual works)
Greeting cards.


Commercial artists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Sorensen Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Sorensen, 1967-1968.

Table of Contents


Correspondence-subject files


Printed material