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Oscar Cesare (Swedish/American, 1885-1948)

Comic Book Art

Oscar Edward Cesare (Swedish-American; 1885 – July 25, 1948) studied art in Paris, then in America. He based his career in New York and took part in the fabled Armory Show of 1913, the first major display of modernistic art in the United States. He contributed to many newspapers and magazines, including The Century, the New York World, The New Yorker, and Fortune. His emphatic editorial cartoons, often rendered in bold grease-pencil strokes, found Cesare in opposition to the Western nations’ roles in World War I and in the development of Mideastern oil wells, and in favor of women’s rights and unionized labor. During 1916-1920, Cesare was the son-in-law of the famous author William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry. In 1920, Cesare became a frequent contributor to the Sunday magazine of the New York Times and continued until a few years before his death in 1948. In October 1922, Cesare gained the rare privilege of gaining admittance to the Kremlin to produce in-person drawings and portraits of the Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. He also sketched Leon Trotsky on the same trip.

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