Collections and Fonds – 181610

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  • Record Information – Brief
    John Collins fonds [graphic material].
    Hierarchical level:
    Fonds / Collection
    Type of material:
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
    Item ID number:
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  • Fonds / Collection includes:
    2948 lower level description(s)
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    1913, ca. 1960-1982.
    Place of creation:
    No place, unknown, or undetermined
    3,334 drawings pen and ink.
    Language of material:
    Scope and content:
    The fonds consists of political cartoons by John Collins published in the Montreal Gazette from 1960 to 1982, including large numbers relating to federal, provincial and municipal issues and personalities (cartoons), a smaller number (ca. 400) relating to international affairs, and a few relating to such themes as the environment, the Olympics, transportation and strikes; sketches published in the Gazette Saturday edition, 1960-1982, to accompany Edgar Andrew Collard's column on Montreal's past. The fonds also includes an original cartoon by J.B. Fitzmaurice concerning a local street car company; published in the Montreal Herald, 1913.
    Creator / Provenance:
    Biography/Administrative history:
    John Collins was born in Washington, D.C. in 1917. At the end of the First World War, he moved to Canada with his family. Collins studied art at Sir George Williams University and the Montreal School of Fine Arts. In 1939, he became the Montreal Gazette's first editorial cartoonist. His tenure with the Gazette lasted four decades until he retired in 1982. His cartoons usually included his signature character "Uno Who", a perplexed observer of the unfolding political scene, recognizable by the barrel he sported in place of a shirt and pants.

    The cartoonist was the recipient of the National Newspaper Award for his work in both 1954 and 1973. In 1971, he created the mural for the Humour Pavilion at the Man and His world exhibition on the site of Expo '67. He is probably best remembered for his whimsical line drawings which illustrated Edgar Andrew Collard's local history column "All Our Yesterdays". Collins also created well-received sketches and watercolours of Montreal streetscapes. In 2000, a book of his sketches "Montreal Memories of the Century" was published.

    Collins ' cartoon work is reminiscent of a gentler time as he strove to illustrate his political points without malice and offence. During his time at the Gazette, it is believed he created more than 15,000 cartoons.

    John Collins died at the age of 89 on September 17, 2007 and was survived by his wife Edna whom he had married in 1945.
    Finding aid:
    Item-level descriptions are available online in Minisis.
    Subject heading:
    Related control no.:
    1. 118-080186-5
    2. 1982-190 PIC
    3. 1986-009 PIC
    4. 1990-491 DAP
    5. 90-195
    6. DAPACC12394
    7. DAPACC15185
    8. DAPACC20505
  • Conditions of access:
    Terms of use:
    Copyright for Accession No. 1982-190: Estate of John Collins; Copyright for Accession No. 1986-009): Library and Archives Canada; Copyright for Accession No. 1990-491 (work by J.B. Fitzmaurice): expired.

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