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Guide to the Merle H. Cunnington Collection, 1964-2012
URB/MHC  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Merle H. Cunnington Collection
    Dates: 1964-2012
    Bulk Dates: 1964-1983
    Identification: URB/MHC
    Creator: Cunnington, Merle H., 1931-2013
    Physical Description: 7.81 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Urban Archives
    Abstract: Merle Howard Cunnington (1931-2013) was an editorial cartoonist, both freelance and on staff at the Van Nuys News & Green Sheet from 1964-1978. The collection consists primarily of preliminary drawings and tear sheets, as well as a handwritten autobiography (through 1979), correspondence, lists, and other materials. Topics of interest include the Vietnam conflict, the energy crisis, school busing, the environment, social security, and Right-to-Work legislation.
    Note:
    This collection was processed with generous support from the Tom W. Reilly estate.

    Biographical Information:

    Merle Howard Cunnington (1931-2013) was born near Sun Valley, Idaho in 1931. He studied history and political science at Utah State University, graduating in 1953. He met his future wife, Elise Mae, in 1956 at friend’s wedding in the San Fernando Valley. They married in 1957 and had three children.
    Cunnington worked at Chevy plant in Van Nuys, CA before getting a teaching job at Pacoima Jr. High School, where he worked from 1957-1960. He transferred to Columbus Jr. High School, where he taught history and art until his retirement. He also taught art and cartooning classes at Pierce College, the California State University Northridge Extension, and Ventura College.
    His interest in art led his to study at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Cunnington used the pen name McHoward for the first years of his cartooning career. He began working as a free-lance cartoonist for the Valley News in 1964 and was doing five cartoons a week when he left in May of 1978, just a few years after the paper was bought by the Chicago Tribune Co. In 1975 he illustrated The San Fernando Valley by Jackson Mayers.

    Access Terms

    This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Paper records

    Administrative Information

    Processing Information:

    April Feldman, 2013

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item], [date], Merle H. Cunnington Collection , Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: General Files, 1964-2012
    Series II: Drawings, 1964-1978
        Sub-Series A: Preliminary Drawings, 1964-1978
        Sub-Series B: Tear Sheets, 1964-1978

    Scope and Contents

    The Merle H. Cunnington Collection consists primarily of preliminary drawings and tear sheets, as well as a handwritten autobiography (through 1979), correspondence, lists, and other materials. The collection documents such topics as the Vietnam conflict, the energy crisis, school busing, the environment, social security, and Right-to-Work legislation. Also of interest are a small number of illustrations from the Jackson Mayer book The San Fernando Valley (1976). The collection has been divided into two series: General Files (1964-2012) and Drawings (1964-1978).
    Series I, General Files, documents the business and professional development aspects of Cunnington’s artistic career. The series includes accounting and payment information, professional journals and correspondence, and ideas for future drawings. This series consists of correspondence, lists, and other similar materials, and is arranged alphabetically.
    Series II, Drawings, consists entirely of Cunnington’s preliminary drawings and published tear sheets. Topics of interest include the Vietnam conflict, energy crisis, school busing, the environment, social security, and Right-to-Work legislation. Also of interest are a small number of illustrations from the Jackson Mayer book The San Fernando Valley (1976). The series has been further divided into two subseries. Subseries A, Preliminary Drawings, consists of hand-drawn ink sketches of many of Mr. Cunnington’s editorial cartoons. There are also a small number of copies or transparencies when no original drawing was present. Subseries B, Tear Sheets, consists of editorial cartoons as they appeared in publications, primarily the Valley News & Green Sheet. Materials are arranged chronologically.