By Amanda C. Grossman
Primary Creator: McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney) (1870-1949)
Extent: 42.0 Mss. Boxes
Arrangement: The collection consists of: cartoons and drawings with dates and titles; cartoons and drawings with dates and no titles; cartoons and drawings with titles and no dates; and cartoons and drawings with neither dates nor titles. The illustrations done for the George Ade fables that appeared in Cosmopolitan are arranged in chronological order, as well as the order of the unique number that had previously been assigned to them. One cartoon drawn by an artist with the name of "Triggs" has been included at the end of the collection.
Forms of Material: Pencil sketches
John Tinney McCutcheon was born on May 6, 1870 near South Raub in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. His parents were Civil War veteran Captain John Barr McCutcheon (Sheriff of Tippecanoe County) and Clara (Glick) McCutcheon. Young John McCutcheon spent his early childhood in the rural areas surrounding Lafayette, Indiana. He had two brothers, George Barr McCutcheon and Ben F. McCutcheon, and one sister, Jessie McCutcheon (Nelson). His brother George Barr would later earn fame as a novelist.
McCutcheon entered Purdue University and was a founding member of the University's first fraternity, Sigma Chi. He was also a co-editor of the University's first yearbook, the Debris.
After graduating from Purdue with a B.S. degree in 1889, McCutcheon moved to Chicago and was hired to work for the Chicago Morning News (later known as the Chicago Record) as an artist. He began doing front page cartoons for the newspaper in 1895. In 1903, McCutcheon joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune and served in capacities as both an editorial cartoonist and occasional foreign correspondent until his retirement in 1946. As a cartoonist, much of his work appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, and the subject matter of his cartoons included issues on local, national, and international politics, war, journalism, societal changes, and economic hardships. McCutcheon traveled a great deal during his career, and covered many political events such as presidential campaigns, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. In 1932, McCutcheon was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for his work titled A Wise Economist Asks a Question. McCutcheon also created illustrations for his friend George Ade, a fellow Hoosier and Purdue graduate; the illustrations appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, as well as books written by Ade. Due to the wide exposure and success of his professional work, McCutcheon is often referred to as the Dean of American Cartoonists.
McCutcheon married Evelyn Shaw on January 20, 1917, and they had four children (John Jr., Shaw, Barr, and Evelyn, who died as a small child). The couple owned a small island in the Bahamas, Salt Cay, which the family referred to as Treasure Island. Following his death in 1949, McCutcheon's widow Evelyn distributed his vast collection of original drawings to various institutions in the Midwest, including Purdue University. Evelyn McCutcheon also contributed to the posthumous publication of John McCutcheon's autobiography, Drawn from Memory.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Use Restrictions: The majority of the materials in this collection were created while McCutcheon was in the employ of the Chicago Tribune. Copyright questions should be directed to the Chicago Tribune.
Physical Access Note: 24 hours notice is required to access the collection.
John T. McCutcheon Vertical File</h3>
<h3 style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt">This collection consists of newspaper clippings and other articles relating to life and career of John T. McCutcheon. The file is part of the vertical file collection stored in Archives and Special Collections.
Materials located at the Newberry Library:
Inventory of the John T. McCutcheon Papers, 1834-1996; bulk 1889-1950
Materials located at the University of Illinois-Chicago:
John T. McCutcheon Collection, 1915-1944
Preferred Citation: John T. McCutcheon cartoons and drawings, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries
Processing Information: Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained. All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.