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Jim Zilverberg Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Jim Zilverberg (1918-2009) was a commercial artist and cartoonist known for his farm cartoons.

Born in Tripp, South Dakota on August 23, 1918, Jim Zilverberg grew up on a ranch in Highmore, South Dakota. He graduated from Aberdeen State Teachers College in the late 1930s and worked as a teacher for a few years. Although lacking any formal art training, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and became a commercial artist.

In the 1950s, Zilverberg was hired by the Farmers Union Grain Terminal Association and produced commercial work and editorial cartoons. Zilverberg’s work appeared in newspapers and magazines in over 30 countries including in the Star Tribune, Outdoor News and Sports Afield. Zilverberg's commercial work included calendars and logos and he is credited with creating the Minnesota State Fair mascot. He also produced two comic strips, The Tillers and Ada the Avreshire.

Jim Zilverberg formally retired in 1981 but continued to cartoon. He died of cancer on March 31, 2009 in Wayzata, Minnesota.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jim Zilverberg Cartoons consist of 29 original pen and ink drawings. There are 17 editorial cartoons and 12 daily comic strips for The Tillers. None of the items are dated but all are from approximately 1966 and 1967.

Zilverberg's editorial cartoons typically reflect opinions about the effect of government policies on the American farmer. The Tillers comic strip is a gag comic strip about a farm family.

Zilverberg worked in pen and ink and used zipatone screening. Traces of pencil are visible on the works. Captions appear in blue pencil; several have been crossed out. Zilverberg's name and address is stamped on the back of the editorial cartoons. Editorial cartoons measure 8 1/4" x 10 ½" and the comic strips are 6 1/4" x 19 ½".

Arrangement of the Collection

Editorial cartoons are arranged in alphabetical order by caption, where available. Comic strips are arranged as received.


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 including additional works related to agriculture in the John Miller Baer Cartoons. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Zilverberg, Jim.

Corporate Bodies

Farmers Union Terminal Association (Minn.)


Agriculture -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Agriculture and state -- Caricatures and cartoons.
American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Editorial cartoons -- United States.
Farmers -- Caricatures and cartoons.
Rural families -- Caricatures and cartoons.


United States -- Politics and government, 1963-1969 -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Comic strips.


Editorial cartoonists.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jim Zilverberg Cartoons
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jim Zilverberg, 1967.

Table of Contents

Editorial cartoons

The Tillers (comic strip)