Skip to main content


Patrick Oliphant artwork and papers

Identifier: MSS 16492

  • Staff Only

Content Description

Drawings of varying size, political cartoons, sculpture, books, framed items, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, slides, video tapes, and news clippings.
Scope and Contents The Patrick Oliphant artwork and papers collection contains materials documenting the life and work of artist Patrick Oliphant. It covers his career as a political cartoonist from 1955 to 2015, including thousands of original cartoon drawings. It also includes examples of his other artistic works, like sculptures, sketches, paintings, lithographs, and other drawings. Oliphant’s artwork, especially the political cartoons, cover a wide variety of political and cultural topics, both in the United States and across the globe and could be useful to researchers interested in many aspects of political and social history in the second half of the 20th century.

The collection also includes materials that provide insight into the creation and promotion of exhibits of Oliphant’s work, travel and speaking engagements, and business papers documenting sales of his artwork. It contains personal papers and correspondence, including a large number of letters from the public. Photographs also provide insight into the creation and promotion of Oliphant’s pieces. The collection also contains audiovisual materials, consisting mostly of interviews with Oliphant.


  • 1947 - 2016

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use materials in the collection in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Biographical / Historical

Patrick Bruce "Pat" Oliphant, born July 24, 1935, is an Australian-born American artist whose career spanned more than sixty years. He began his art career in 1955, drawing cartoons and illustrations for Adelaide’s The Advertiser newspaper. In 1964, Oliphant moved to the United States and became the cartoonist at the Denver Post, and by 1965 his work was syndicated internationally by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. Oliphant was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1967. In 1975 he moved to the Washington Star and joined the Universal Press Syndicate. In 1979 Oliphant was naturalized as an American citizen. When the Star went out of business in 1981, Oliphant decided to remain independent, living off the earnings from his syndication. He was the first political cartoonist in the twentieth century to work independently from a home newspaper, a situation that provided him with significant independence from editorial control. By 1983 Oliphant was the most widely syndicated American political cartoonist, with his work appearing in more than 500 newspapers. His body of work focuses mostly on American and global politics and culture; he is particularly known for his caricatures of American presidents and other world leaders. While he is most well known as a political cartoonist, over the course of his career Oliphant also produced dozens of bronze sculptures, along with many other drawings and paintings. He retired in 2015.

Source: Wikipedia contributors. "Pat Oliphant." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Jan. 2022. Web. 18 Jan. 2022.


80 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acccesion number ViU-2018-0074, purchase 19 April 2018 from Patrick B. and Susan Conway Oliphant.
Patrick Oliphant artwork and papers
Stacey Lavender
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States