Samuel R. Joyner Artwork Collection

Collection ID: 
Record Group 967
Date: 
1947-2005
Footage: 
5.8 Linear feet
Collecting Area: 

BACKGROUND
Samuel R. Joyner is among the small number of African American cartoonists in the United States. Born in Philadelphia in 1924, he received early attention and publication credits in the Tribune Jr. pages as a cartoonist at the age of 7 in the  Philadelphia Tribune. At the time, he was the paperboy for the newspaper when his drawings were recognized by publisher E. Washington Rhodes. This would prove to be the early catalyst in his striving towards a career as an artist. However, in Joyner’s high school years, his teachers did not believe that he would make it as a paid African American commercial artist, and, subsequently, attempted to persuade him in the direction of a career in landscaping, a career where he could still utilize his artistic creative mind and abilities, they said. Slightly wounded by this discouragement, Joyner enlisted in the United States Navy after graduating from high school during World War II. Upon his return to the United States, he enrolled into the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now University of the Arts) with the support of the G.I. Bill to enhance his skills to pursue a career as a commercial artist. He completed his studies, graduating in 1948.

His experience with racism and discrimination, primarily in the Navy, served as the backdrop for the kind of artwork he desired to produce. However, after graduating from college, he was unable to find employment. Eventually, he succeeded in selling his work to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the  Pittsburgh Courier. While they celebrated his work, he began to receive recognition for his talent from other organizations and companies. He then realized that he was not fully valued for his creations as he was not allowed to attach his name to his drawings nor draw any non-white characters. Not until the publication of  Color Magazine in the 1950s by a local Philadelphian businessman, I. J. K. “Alphabets” Wells, was Joyner able to use his skills in the service of African American social and political uplift as an art director. Here he was able to gain national attention with his social, cultural, and political commentary and satire to inspire other African Americans to engage in activities and dialogues toward the defeat of injustice.

In the 1960s, he opened and operated a print and graphics shop with his wife and four children. Joyner furthered his education by taking additional coursework at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and enrolling in the Teacher Certification program at Temple University. From 1974 until his retirement in 1990, he taught art classes and graphic communications at Rhodes Middle School (North Philadelphia) and Bok Technical High School (South Philadelphia). His impact on his students was evidenced in his students’ achievements in winning art prizes as documented in the local Philadelphia newspapers. Joyner's career in the arts was widely celebrated by many from his entrepreneurial endeavors to education. He has more than 50 years in publishing with thousands of publication credits.

Over the years he would become a recognized “visual voice” for African Americans as represented in mass-circulated magazines and newspapers. His work has been published in over 40 different publications. He has received many awards and recognitions from Temple University, the National Newspapers Publishers Association, and the Houston Sun Times to name a few. In 2002 the Urban Archives at Temple University featured a showing of his work in an exhibit entitled “Exhibitions of Samuel Joyner: A Cartoonist.” As one of the most celebrated African American cartoonists, his work has influenced many generations of African American comics and commercial artists.


SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Samuel Joyner collection includes photographs, original art work and sketches (and photocopies), posters, signs, newspapers and clippings, newsletters, one book of African American illustrations, and ephemera. This collection spans 60 years, from 1947 to 2005. The majority of the material is dated in the 1990s. The order of the collection was rearranged from the original order/condition, which seemed to have been the result of the exhibition organized by Temple University’s Urban Archives in 2002. All series are arranged chronically and, where necessary, in alphabetical order according to folder titles. Additionally, the majority of the items are housed in protective sleeves, as well as acid free folders for preservation purposes.

The included images reveal how influence Joyner was by the sociopolitical happenings in society and how that then served as inspiration to challenge racism, discrimination, exploitation, and American political culture to give a critical “visual voice” to a range of frustrations in the African American community. Although a cartoonist, Joyner’s use of his skills and craft as a means to challenge social ills and to inspire and transform the African American community was, in many ways, similar to many other African American artists who had been active in the many social and political movements in the 1950s and 1960s. Therefore, these images and associated inscriptions are filled with the “fire” of African American critiques of hegemony and white supremacy.

Series 7, "Publications," includes four types of publications: a book, newspapers and clippings, newsletters, and magazines. The book is an autograph copy of Portia George’s (illustrated by Robert L. Jefferson) Gifts of Our People: An alphabet of African American History, which feature well known African American historical figures. The two newsletters feature a sample of Joyner’s cartoons with an accompanying blurb about his work and/or life experiences. As stated above in the background note, Samuel Joyner worked as a cartoonist/art director for several publications which include the  African American Magazine (“Joyner’s Funnies”) and  The Messenger (“Joyner’s Drawing Board”). Several issues of each publication are included in the collection. The other magazine included here is the 150th edition of  The Comic Journal which features an article (biographical note) written by Joyner entitled “My life as an African-American cartoonist.” The newspapers represent the few African American newspapers that were willing to publish Joyner’s work, such as  The Buckeye Review, The Dallas Post Tribune, The Houston Sun, The Milwaukee Times, The Philadelphia Tribune, Sun Life (The Houston Sun), and  Take Pride! Community Weekly. Many of the newspapers are not complete issues but include the pages and/or sections of the papers that contain Joyner’s cartoons. The bulk of the publications series are newspaper clippings that also feature the cartoons drawn by Samuel Joyner or articles written about him. These clippings are from the following list of publications:  The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Young People, Color magazine,  The Philadelphia Independent, The Review/Chronicle, The Philadelphia Tribune, The illustrated Ledger, The Northwest Dispatch, The Houston Sun, The Orland Times, The Milwaukee Times, The Buckeye Review, Sun Life, The Messenger, New Journal and Guide, and  Take Pride! Community Weekly.

While these items are not less significant in detailing the life and works of Samuel Joyner, they are few in number, and therefore, they are labeled as “miscellaneous.” Included is this series is a photocopy of the front cover of the 1984-1985 Bulletin of Adult Education Activities for the School District of Philadelphia’s Division of Adult Education, a certificate  Excellence in Journalism Award from the  Houston Sun, a letter from the director/coordinator of the Pan-African Community Education Program at Temple University, Joyner’s resume, an incomplete calendar that displays the months of May and June, and an item of clothing that advertises one component of Joyner’s business owned and operated with his wife and kids (t-shirt design). The remaining items for this series consist of the material used in the Urban Archives exhibition in 2002 and an ink bottle and paint brush once used by Mr. Joyner.

Series Organization

I. Photographs

II. Art Work

III. Prints

IV. Posters

V. Signs

VI. Sketches

VII. Publications

VIII. Miscellaneous


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Publication Information

Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center,  2011.02.08

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Weckea D. Lilly

Sponsor

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Processing Information note

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.


CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Form/Genre(s)
  • Cartoons (humorous images)
  • Prints (Visual works)
  • Publications
  • Sketches
Personal Name(s)
  • Joyner, Samuel, b. 1924
Subject(s)
  • African Americans
  • Artists
  • Cartoons & Comics


INVENTORY

I. Photographs.

Scope and Contents note

The majority of the photographs (N=15) depicts Samuel Joyner with his art work at various exhibits and events. Two of the photographs were taken at The Baltimore Museum of Art, two at the Annual Philadelphia International Art Expo, two with individuals affiliated with Temple University’s Pan-African Community Education Program (i.e., Yumy Odom, former director), and the remaining pictures are copies of the photos used in The Philadelphia Tribune’s article entitled “Drawing Pride: African-American illustrator and cartoonist Samuel Joyner reflects on his career of ‘being invisible’.”

  Box Folder

Samuel Joyner at the March Texas Publishers Association Convention, 1993.

1 1

Samuel Joyner at the Arts League Exhibit (Beat Editorial Cartoons), 1998.

1 2

Samuel Joyner with Walt Carr at the Baltimore Art Museum Seminar, 2000.

1 3

Samuel Joyner at the Philadelphia Tribune Building, undated.

1 4

Unidentified panelists at a Pan-African Studies Community Education event at Temple University, undated.

1 5

Samuel Joyner and unidentified man at The Baltimore Museum of Art, undated.

1 6

Samuel Joyner with Robert Jefferson at the Annual Philadelphia International Art Expo, undated.

1 7

Samuel Joyner with Cal Massey at the Annual Philadelphia International Art Expo, undated.

1 8

Samuel Joyner with Yumy Odom and two unidentified men at PASEP program at Temple University, undated.

1 9

Six images of Samuel Joyner, unidentified locations, undated.

1 10

II. Art Work.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains three images. The first item in the folder is a drawing of a man and woman holding hands surrounded by city buildings. Another is a water-color painting of a man and woman holding hands atop a hill surrounded by nature. The final piece of art in this series is a drawing (color markers) that depicts an African American woman and man singing and playing the guitar and is inscribed with “Celebrate Black Music.”

  Box Folder

Drawing of a man, woman, and urban landscape, 1977.

1 11

Painting of a man and woman holding hands, 1985.

1 11

Drawing, "Celebrate Black Art", 1994.

1 11

III. Prints.

Scope and Contents note

The prints feature African American caricatures and are inscribed with bible scriptures — three are from the book of Psalms and one from St. Luke. The other print depicts a man and woman holding Christmas presents.

  Box Folder

PSALM 24:1, undated.

1 12

PSALM 122:1, undated.

1 12

PSALM 136:1, undated.

1 12

St. Luke 2:14, undated.

1 12

IV. Posters.

Scope and Contents note

The four posters included in the collection represent four different organizations and/or themes: J. F. Street campaign flyer, the Tindley Temple Church Campaign Fund, the Betsy Ross House, and a promotional poster for the zoo.

  Box Folder

The Betsy Ross House, undated.

1 13

John F. Street, undated.

1 13

Tindley Temple Church, undated.

1 13

Visit the Zoo, undated.

1 13

V. Signs.

Scope and Contents note

This series consists of a sign displaying an event for the Bok Tech School and two business signs for Mr. Strickler.

  Box Folder

Bok Tech School, 1978.

1 14

Mr. Strickler (Pink & Yellow), undated.

1 14

Mr. Strickler (Orange & White), undated.

1 14

VI. Sketches.

Scope and Contents note

There a total of 37 original hand drawn and pasted sketches by Samuel Joyner. Also included here are 53 photocopies of the original sketches. These are the sketches that are also published in the magazines, newspapers, and clippings.

  Box Folder

Original sketch, “Drug Abuse Epidemic Hits U.S.A.”, 1988 September 5.

1 15

Original sketch, “Environmental Racism”, 1995 June 15.

1 15

Original sketch, “Police Corruption Scandal”, 1995 August 19.

1 15

Original sketch, “Gov. Ridge and PA GOP Attack Health Care Benefits for 260,000 Poor and Sick People”, 1996 March 20.

1 15

Original sketch, “Jackie Robinson”, 1997 March 25.

1 15

Original sketch, “Sky High Auto Insurance Rates on Inner City Drivers”, 1997 April 22.

1 15

Original sketch, “Paul Laurence Dunbar”, 1997 June 3.

1 15

Original sketch, “Maggie L. Walker”, 1997 June 24.

1 15

Original sketch, “Industrial Pollution”, 1994 January 22.

1 15

Original sketch, “Whatever Happened to the Apology and Reparations”, 1997 August 21.

1 15

Original sketch, “St. Luke 2:14”, 1991 November 23.

1 15

Original sketch, “Equal Justice Under Law”, 1998 March 9.

1 15

Original sketch, “What’s the Big Hurry?”, 1998 March 20.

1 15

Original sketch, “GOP Welfare Reform”, 1998 April 4.

1 15

Original sketch, “Barring Black citizens from jury duty in Philadelphia violates the U.S. Supreme Court rulings guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution”, 1998 April 8.

1 15

Original sketch, “And the U.S.A. still pays some farmers millions of dollars not to grow food”, 1998 May 2.

1 15

Original sketch, “Ludicrous Opinion Poll Company”, 1995 June 8.

1 15

Original sketch, “Police Brutality”, 1999 March 15.

1 15

Original sketch, “Mary Ann Shadd Cary”, 2000 June 24.

1 15

Original sketch, “Jan Ernst Matzeliger”, 2000 September 27.

1 15

Original sketch, “Christopher James Perry, Sr.”, 2001 January 20.

1 15

Original sketch, “Patricia Roberts Harris”, 2001 January 23.

1 15

Original sketch, “War on Drugs a Failure”, 2001 March 19.

1 15

Original sketch, “Mom, I could of bought a real good Nintendo Video game with all that money you spent just to buy food”, 2001 August 24.

1 15

Original sketch, “Matthew 24:7”, 2001 October 4.

1 15

Original sketch, “Million Africans Homeless Because of Civil War”, 2002 January 26.

1 15

Original sketch, “Hunt for Bin Laden”, 2002 February 2.

1 15

Original sketch, “My husband accused me of spending money we haven’t earned, to buy items we don’t need, to make an impression on people we don’t like”, 2002 February 28.

1 15

Original sketch, “Taxes”, 2002 March 22.

1 15

Original sketch, Preacher, 2002 April 22.

1 15

Original sketch, Two Women, [no year] March 2.

1 15

Original sketch, “Urban Archives Featuring Editorial Cartoons”, undated.

1 15

Original sketch, “Editorial Cartoons”, undated.

1 15

Original sketch, "Did you know that African Americans spend more than six hundred billion dollars every year on services and goods in these United States?”, undated.

1 15

Original sketch, "The new lady employee is a very good worker ... and I’m so glad she’s not a clock-watcher”, undated.

1 15

Original sketch, “Thomas Andrew Dorsey”, undated.

1 15

Original sketch, “Bible Characters”, undated.

1 15

Photocopied sketches (N=53), undated.

1 16

VII. Publications.

  Box Folder

Book, George, Portia; Illustrated by Robert L. Jefferson (Autograph Copy) Gifts of our people: Analphabet of African American history, 1995.

2 1

Newsletter, Forum-The University of the Arts, 2001.

2 2

Newsletter, Tindley Temple News, 1992 Winter.

2 2

Magazine, African American Magazine Volume IV, Numbers 5 and 6; Volume V, Number 1, 2001-2003.

2 3

Magazine, The Comics Journal #150, 1992.

2 4

Magazine, The Messenger Volume 2, Numbers 2-4, 6, 9, and 12; Volume 3, Numbers 3 and 13, 2002 May-2003 September.

2 5

Newspaper, The Buckeye Review, 1998 December 24-1999 January 6.

2 6

Newspaper, The Buckeye Review, 1998 May 27-June 2.

2 6

Newspaper, Incomplete The Buckeye Review, 2002 March 5.

2 6

Newspaper, Incomplete The Dallas Post Tribune, 2002 May 16-22.

2 7

Newspaper, Incomplete The Houston Sun, 1994 February 28.

2 8

Newspaper, Incomplete The Milwaukee Times, 2000 August 24-30.

2 9

Newspaper, Incomplete The Milwaukee Times, 2000 October 19-25.

2 9

Newspaper, Incomplete The Milwaukee Times, 2000 October 19-25.

2 9

Newspaper, Philadelphia Service Worker, 2003 May.

2 10

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2000 March 24.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2000 September 22.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2000 October 24.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2000 October 24.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2000 November 7.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2001 March 20.

2 11

Newspaper, The Philadelphia Tribune, 2002 September 13.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete The Philadelphia Tribune, 2002 September 13.

2 11

Newspaper, Incomplete, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2003 September 22-28.

2 12

Newspaper, Incomplete, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2003 October 13-19.

2 12

Newspaper, Incomplete, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2003 November 10-16.

2 12

Newspaper, Incomplete, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2005 January 24-30.

2 12

Newspaper, Incomplete, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2005 March 7-13.

2 12

Newspaper, Take Pride! Community Weekly, 2005 March 28-April 3.

2 12

Newspaper clippings, 1947 June 8.

2 13

Newspaper clippings, 1951 June.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1951 September 1.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1953 December 13.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1956 August.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1957 April.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1958 November 1.

2 14

Newspaper clippings, 1976 March 25.

2 15

Newspaper clippings, 1976 July 20.

2 15

Newspaper clippings, 1988 July.

2 16

Newspaper clippings, 1988 August 31.

2 16

Newspaper clippings, 1990 December 28.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1991 March 28.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1992 March 9.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1993 February 8.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1993 August 5.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1993 September 17.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1994 February 1.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1994 March 28.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1994.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1996 March 26.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1996 July 19.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 January 3.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 January 17.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 May 13.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 June 13.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 August 21-27.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 September 5.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 November 26-December 2.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 November 27-December 3.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1997 November 28.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1998 March 27.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1998 March 27.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1998 July 23-29.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 1999 August 5-11.

2 17

Newspaper clippings, 2000 January 27-February 2.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2000 February 15.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2000 July 12-18.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2000 October 26-November 1.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2001 June 6-13.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2002 July-August.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2003 January 1-7.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2003 August 1 8-24.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2003.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, 2005 February 18-24.

2 18

Newspaper clippings, [no year] February 13.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, [no year] September 26.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

Newspaper clippings, undated.

2 19

VIII. Miscellaneous.

  Box Folder

Front Cover (Photocopy) Bulletin of Adult Education Activities, 1984-1985.

3 1

Certificate, Houston Sun Excellence in Journalism Award, 1995.

3 2

Correspondence — Odom, Yumy to Brethren (Samuel Joyner), 2002 May 26.

3 3

Program, Urban Archive (N=3) Samuel Joyner: a cartoonist, 2002 September 16.

3 4

Urban Archives Material, "Exhibitions of Samuel Joyner: A Cartoonist", 2002.

3 5

Urban Archives Material (rolled-up items), "Exhibitions of Samuel Joyner: A Cartoonist", 2002.

3 6

Urban Archives Material, negatives for exhibit "Exhibitions of Samuel Joyner: A Cartoonist", 2002.

3 7

Urban Archives Material, banner (ROLL), "Exhibitions of Samuel Joyner: A Cartoonist", 2002.

3 8

Resume of Samuel Joyner, undated.

3 9

Calendar, The Houston Sun, undated (May & June).

3 10

T-Shirt Design by Joyner, undated.

3 11

Joyner’s ink bottle and brush, undated.

3 12