Ollie Harrington Artwork

from the Walter O. Evans Collection of Ollie Harrington Artwork

A group of Black children sitting and talking on a stoop. Caption reads "My educated uncle says we're upper class


This collection was compiled by Walter O. Evans and contains drawings, ink and pencil on paper, of cartoons created by Ollie Harrington. Many items contain handwritten or typed captions. Some annotations and markings related to the publishing process are also present. Oliver "Ollie" Wendell Harrington (1912-1995) was an American cartoonist and civil rights activist. Born in Valhalla, New York, Harrington was an active participant in the Harlem Renaissance, producing cartoons for the Amsterdam News. He studied Fine Arts at Yale University, but did not finish his degree due to the United States entry into World War II. Harrington's staunch advocacy for civil rights was evident in his cartoons, which depicted the lives of African Americans enduring poverty, racism, and disenfranchisement, alongside everyday humorous situations. His published works include his cartoon series include "Dark Laughter" (later renamed "Bootsie) and "Jive Gray," along with extensive cartoons published in outlets including Der Spiegel. Harrington left the United States to live in Paris, France for a number of years before taking up long-term residence in East Berlin, Germany where he lived from 1961 until the end of his life.