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Art Young Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 13 Jun 2007

Biographical History

Art Young (1866-1943) was an American cartoonist and active in the socialist movement.

Born in 1866, Young grew up in Monroe, Wisconsin and had his first illustrations published at the age of seventeen. He studied at the Academy of Design in Chicago while working as an illustrator of news stories for the Chicago Evening Mail, but in 1895 he moved to New York City where he studied at the Art Students League and began to move towards a more radical political viewpoint.

By 1902 Young's work was so highly valued that newspapers and magazines were willing to accept his drawings attacking inequality and supporting causes he believed in, such as women's rights. In 1910 Young went to work for the Socialist magazine The Masses, where he was free to fully express his radical views. Despite a libel charge in 1913 and The Masses' loss of their mailing privileges in 1917 for their outspoken opposition to World War I, Young continued to draw "inflammatory" cartoons for the magazine until it ceased publication in 1918. He went on to do cartoons for The Liberator and Good Morning, both of which he had helped establish, as well as for the Saturday Evening Post, the Nation, New Masses and the New Leader.

Young, after running for the New York State Assembly with the Socialist Party in 1913, illustrated work for other Socialist Party candidates. He published his well-known autobiography, Art Young: His Life and Times, in 1939, which also features a selection of his cartoon artwork.

Art Young died in 1943.

"I think we have the true religion. If only the crusade would take on more converts. But faith, like the faith they talk about in the churches, is ours and the goal is not unlike theirs, in that we want the same objectives but want it here on earth and not in the sky when we die." [Art Young, in an interview with Gil Wilson, 1940]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Art Young Collection contains a set of postcards and one telegram.

The twelve postcards were drawn by political cartoonist Art Young and issued by the Good Morning Co., publishers of the radical journal Good Morning. The postcards depict various fictional figures accompanied by satirical text, such as Reverend A. Jawbunk, who preached "an eloquent sermon yesterday on 'Social Unrest, the Peril of the Twentieth Century';" Karl Muddlechump, who "says that the way to cure the Bolshevistic unrest the world over is to spread the news at least every six weeks that the Russian Soviet Government has fallen;" and Henry Sniff Hound, who proposes that the "intellectual, moral, and material force of the exerted against the spreading of...communist doctrines." The postcards are undated but from between 1919 and 1921.

Also there is one telegram written in pencil and signed by Young appearing on a Postal Telegraph Company form with "Danbury" written at the top. The telegram is addressed to "Mr. Chairman" and is regarding "Labor Party Rally". The message reads, "Can’t get to the meeting tonight- but heart and soul with the movement." It is undated but possibly from the 1930s.


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 a number of collections relating to American Radicalism and over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Additional material related to Art Young appears in the Fred Ellis Papers, Shaemas O'Sheel Letters and the Louis Lozowick Papers.

Subject Headings


Young, Art, 1866-1943.

Corporate Bodies

Good Morning Co.

Associated Titles

How to cure world unrest.


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Labor movement.
Political satire -- American -- Specimens.
Politics and government -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Radicalism -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Socialism -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)


Political activists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Art Young Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Telegram purchased, 1966. Postcards purchased, 2007.

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