Elmer Messner Papers

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Elmer Messner papers
Creator: Messner, Elmer R., 1901-1979
Call Number: D.332
Dates: 1941-1950
Physical Description: 14 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Content List
Series I: Political cartoons
Collection Overview
Title: Elmer Messner papers
Creator: Messner, Elmer R., 1901-1979
Call Number: D.332
Dates: 1941-1950
Physical Description: 14 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Elmer Messner was born in Rochester in 1901. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1918 and continued his studies at the Arts Student League in New York. In 1925 he returned to RIT to teach drawing. He taught there for over twenty years. He joined the staff of the Rochester Times-Union newspaper as a sport and news cartoonist in 1922. He entered the comic cartoon field by drawing a series of humorous cartoons for the Editors Feature Service entitled: "That's Not the Half of It." During Buffalo, New York's Centennial he wrote a column and drew related cartoons for the Buffalo Evening News historical series. His cartoons were widely reproduced in other newspapers and magazines across the country and abroad. Along with his cartooning, Mr. Messner wrote a rod and gun column for the Times-Union.

In additions to cartooning, Messner painted in both watercolor and oils. His art works were exhibited across the country. He participated in shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Chicago of Art Institute, and Huntington Art gallery in Los Angeles. The artist had several one-man shows in Rochester and around New York State.

During this career he was bestowed many awards and medals, among them included: Lillian Fairchild Award from the University of Rochester for the "trenchant ideas, cogent phrases and creative spirit in his deft drawings"; the Distinguished Alumnus award from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He received several awards from the Freedom Foundation, including five honor medals; the Christopher Award; citations from the United States Treasury and the Disabled Veterans of the World War and the New York Times Education Writer Award.

Mr. Messner served as president of the Association of the American Editorial Cartoonist and also vice-president of the National Cartoonist Society. On a local note, he was vice president of the Rochester Art Club from 1944-1949 and then served as president for the organization in 1950-1952.

After his retirement from the newspaper in 1964, he continued his career in the arts by painting and remaining active in the art world. Mr. Messner died of a heart attack at his home in Pittsford, NY on May 22, 1979. He was 78 years old.

Frank Gannett, founder of the Gannett newspaper group was quoted as describing Elmer Messner's talent as "the rare ability to reduce to a simple line, or a combination of lines, the story or an event and the feeling of the people."

Scope and Content
This collection is comprised of 111 political cartoons drawn by Elmer Messner, political cartoonist for the Rochester Times-Union. Drawn between the years 1941-1950, these bold and expressive images captured the hopes, fears, uncertainty and exaltation of World War II. The first image of the collection is a reproduction of Elmer Messner's portrait by James Montgomery Flagg from the publication entitled The War in Cartoons. Following the first drawing, each cartoon has a date and a title that depicts a certain issue or event during the war. The cartoons are numbered consecutively throughout the collection.

This collection is arranged in a single series:

Series I: Political Cartoons

World War (1939-1945)
Political cartoons
Messner, Elmer R., 1901-1979
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mr. Messner, April, 1950.Access
The Elmer Messner papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Elmer Messner papers, D.332, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Series I: Political cartoons
Box 1, Folder 1Portrait of Elmer Messner, by James Montgomery Flagg; reproduced from the publication entitled, The War in Cartoons
Box 1, Folder 2"The Thing We Face", 1941
Box 1, Folder 3"Remember the Old Limerick", January 4, 1941
Box 1, Folder 4"The Bear has Relatives", November 3, 1941
Box 1, Folder 5"The Open Door", November 28, 1941
Box 1, Folder 6"Temporary Blackout", December, 1941
Box 1, Folder 7"Now It's War", December 8, 1941
Box 1, Folder 8"Our First Line of Defense", December 9, 1941
Box 2, Folder 9"Today's Job", December 11, 1941
Box 2, Folder 10"One for All, All for One", December 15, 1941
Box 2, Folder 11"In the Dog House for the Duration", December 18, 1941
Box 2, Folder 12"Back to the First Principle", December 30, 1941
Box 2, Folder 13"Moving Up", June 24, 1942
Box 2, Folder 14"Let's Give'Em Plenty", September 28, 1942
Box 2, Folder 15"Vive La France", November 9, 1942
Box 2, Folder 16"Europe's Open Door", November 12, 1942
Box 3, Folder 17"And this Time He's Not Kidding", November 14, 1942
Box 3, Folder 18"The Christmas Wreath", November 30, 1942
Box 3, Folder 19"Closing In", December 23, 1942
Box 3, Folder 20"At the Turn of the Year", January 2, 1943
Box 3, Folder 21"A Challenge He Accepts", January 18, 1943
Box 3, Folder 22"Awaiting the Day", January 21, 1943
Box 3, Folder 23"The Boomerang", February 6, 1943
Box 3, Folder 24"And How", February 10, 1943
Box 4, Folder 25"Harbingers' of Spring", March 2, 1943
Box 4, Folder 26"A Vanishing Way of Life", March 13, 1943
Box 4, Folder 27"Reaching Out", March 19, 1943
Box 4, Folder 28"The Price", March 20, 1943
Box 4, Folder 29"Two Building Sites", April 1, 1943
Box 4, Folder 30"The Hollow Shell", April 6, 1943
Box 4, Folder 31"Left Holding the Bag Again", April 10, 1943
Box 4, Folder 32"Same Words, Different Tune", April 19, 1943
Box 5, Folder 33"The Old, Old Story", May 8, 1943
Box 5, Folder 34"Quite A Brood", May 13, 1943
Box 5, Folder 35"With One Goal – Liberation", June 5, 1943
Box 5, Folder 36"Busy Days for the Little Man", June 8, 1943
Box 5, Folder 37"From All Directions", June 29, 1943
Box 5, Folder 38[V-12 Unit- arrive on University of Rochester's campus], July, 1943
Box 5, Folder 39"The 'First Front' Maybe Europe, But"-, July 2, 1943
Box 5, Folder 40"Renewed Hope", July 12, 1943
Box 6, Folder 41"Observation Post", July 22, 1943
Box 6, Folder 42"Two Methods", August 2, 1943
Box 6, Folder 43"Nothing But Bad News", August 21, 1943
Box 6, Folder 44"Himmel, Der Gate Keeper", September 9, 1943
Box 6, Folder 45"On the Way Back", September 25, 1943
Box 6, Folder 46"The Cow Jumped over the Moon", October 1, 1943
Box 6, Folder 47"Fence Walking", October 6, 1943
Box 6, Folder 48"Same Old Diet", October 11, 1943
Box 7, Folder 49"Fall Harvest", October 20, 1943
Box 7, Folder 50"There Goes the Ball, October 21, 1943
Box 7, Folder 51"What, You Too?", November 17, 1943
Box 7, Folder 52"Time for Reflection", November 26, 1943
Box 7, Folder 53"And That's No Secret Weapon", December 27, 1943
Box 7, Folder 54"Busier Than the One-Armed Paper-Hanger", January 4, 1944
Box 7, Folder 55"Battering Him Down", March 1, 1944
Box 7, Folder 56"Der Fuehrer's Birthday Cake", April 19, 1944
Box 8, Folder 57"Bad News for ToJo", May 2, 1944
Box 8, Folder 58"It Won't Be Long", May 3, 1944
Box 8, Folder 59"In Memoriam", May 29, 1944
Box 8, Folder 60"With Hope and Prayer", June 8, 1944
Box 8, Folder 61"How Far Will They Go", June 9, 1944
Box 8, Folder 62"They Never Need You More", June 12, 1944
Box 8, Folder 63"Breaking Out All Over the Place", June 13, 1944
Box 8, Folder 64"More Storm Clouds Forming", June 15, 1944
Box 9, Folder 65"Sign posts- Past and Present", July 6, 1944
Box 9, Folder 66"The Yanks are Coming", August 11, 1944
Box 9, Folder 67"A Buzz-Bomb of Our Own", August 21, 1944
Box 9, Folder 68"And He Asks for 'Soft' Peace", August 31, 1944
Box 9, Folder 69"Back to Stay", October 21, 1944
Box 9, Folder 70"Enough is Enough", 1945
Box 9, Folder 71"Carry On", 1945
Box 9, Folder 72"The $64 Question", January 13, 1945
Box 10, Folder 73"Winter Travel Note", January 19, 1945
Box 10, Folder 74"Finis", January 31, 1945
Box 10, Folder 75"The New Sign Post", February 7, 1945
Box 10, Folder 76"V", February 9, 1945
Box 10, Folder 77"Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now!", February 20, 1945
Box 10, Folder 78"Right Into the Front Yard", February 20, 1945
Box 10, Folder 79"Clang, Clang, Clang went the Trolley", March 1945
Box 10, Folder 80"The Light Lives On!", April 1945
Box 11, Folder 81"The Tragedy's Last Act", April 5, 1945
Box 11, Folder 82"Added Post-War Problem", April 13, 1945
Box 11, Folder 83"Ernie Pyle, Biographer and Friend", April 20, 1945
Box 11, Folder 84"TAPS", May 1945
Box 11, Folder 85"Thank God", May 8, 1945
Box 11, Folder 86"Now for the Other Alley", May 10, 1945
Box 11, Folder 87"The Task at Hand", May 16, 1945
Box 11, Folder 88"The Road Back", May 19, 1945
Box 12, Folder 89"So Nice to Come Home To", June 20, 1945
Box 12, Folder 90"A New Spring Board", June 23, 1945
Box 12, Folder 91"A New Hope", June 26, 1945
Box 12, Folder 92"Helpless Before the Storm", July 17, 1945
Box 12, Folder 93"Right of Way", July 20, 1945
Box 12, Folder 94"For He is the Ruler of the NIP Navy", July 31, 1945
Box 12, Folder 95"Heavy, Heavy, Hangs Over….", August 8, 1945
Box 12, Folder 96"Journey's End", August 16, 1945
Box 13, Folder 97"Plenty of Company", August 23, 1945
Box 13, Folder 98"Witch's Brew", August 24, 1945
Box 13, Folder 99"Times Have Changed", October 9, 1945
Box 13, Folder 100"Approaching Retribution", October 19, 1945
Box 13, Folder 101"Wings over Washington", November 5, 1948
Box 13, Folder 102"Manhattan Saturday Night", December 9, 1949
Box 13, Folder 103"Return of the Fisherman", December 23, 1949
Box 13, Folder 104"Another Bull in the China Shop Episode", January 12, 1950
Box 14, Folder 105"The Big Mo Isn't the Only One", January 23, 1950
Box 14, Folder 106"Shucks Who's Afraid", January 27, 1950
Box 14, Folder 107"Comrade", January 31, 1950
Box 14, Folder 108"Out of the Way, Small Fry" ", February 3, 1950
Box 14, Folder 109"The Bomb Race", February 20, 1950
Box 14, Folder 110"Need Any One Act Surprised", February 23, 1950
Box 14, Folder 111"Well Here Goes", February 27, 1950
Box 14, Folder 112"The Great Advocate of Peace", March 29, 1950

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