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Oscar Edward Cesare (October 7, 1883 – July 25, 1948) was a Swedish-born American caricaturist, painter, draftsman and editorial cartoonist.[1]

Oscar Cesare
Oscar Cesare self-portrait.png
Born7 October 1883
DiedJuly 25, 1948(1948-07-25) (aged 64)
Oscar Cesare Signature.svg


Cesare was born on 7 October 1883 in Linköping, Sweden.

At eighteen he moved to Paris to study art, then traveled to Buffalo, New York, to continue his studies.[2] In 1903 he moved to Chicago, and by 1911 he was living in Manhattan, New York City.

One of his first jobs was illustrating The King of Gee-Whiz by Emerson Hough in 1906.[3] By 1913, his success as an illustrator allowed him to exhibit at the legendary 1913 Armory Show. Cesare worked at several publications throughout his career, including the Chicago Tribune, New York World, New York Sun, New York Evening Post, Our World, The Century Magazine, Bookman, Outlook, Nation's Business, Literary Digest, Fortune, and The New Yorker.[1] In 1920, he became a regular contributor to the Sunday magazine of the New York Times and continued until a few years before his death in 1948.[2]

In October 1922 Cesare had the very rare privilege of gaining admittance to the Kremlin to paint sketches of the Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.[4] He was also able to make sketches of Leon Trotsky on the same trip.[5]

He died on July 25, 1948 in Stamford, Connecticut.[6]

Original drawing for a WWI-era political cartoon


Cesare was active in opposing World War I. He adopted the grease crayon technique that had been adopted by other radical cartoonists such as Boardman Robinson, Robert Minor, K. R. Chamberlain, and Rollin Kirby.

Personal lifeEdit

On July 15, 1916, Cesare married Margaret Porter, the daughter of the American writer O. Henry.[7] They divorced four years later.[8]

External linksEdit

  • Cesare, Oscar (1922-12-24). "Lenin and His Moscow" (PDF). The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 50. Archived from the original on 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  • Cesare, Oscar (1916). One Hundred Cartoons. Boston, Small, Maynard.
  • Works by Cesare @ Library of Congress
  • Oscar Cesare Collection of original cartoons at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia


  1. ^ a b Crump, Robert L. (2009). Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-87351-635-8. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  2. ^ a b Alderman Memorial Library, University of Virginia. "A Guide to the Drawings by Oscar Edward Cesare 1912-1943". Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  3. ^ Hough, Emerson (1906). The King of Gee-Whiz. Bobbs-Merrill.
  4. ^ Walter Duranty (1922-10-13). "Artist Finds Lenin At Work And Fit". The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  5. ^ "Oscar Cesare Russian Collection, Harvard College Library". Houghton Library. Archived from the original on 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  6. ^ "Oscar Cesare, Artist, Dies in Stamford". The Hartford Courant (1923-1984). Hartford, Conn. 1948-07-25. p. B7. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  7. ^ "O.E. Cesare and Miss Porter Wed". The New York Times. New York, NY. 1916-07-19. p. 9. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  8. ^ "William Sydney Porter (O. Henry)". Retrieved 2010-02-15.