This oral history interview with Art Bimrose was conducted by Jim Strassmaier on April 26, 1989. The interview was conducted in conjunction with a 1989 exhibition of Bimrose's work at the Oregon Historical Society. The interview was conducted in one session.
In this interview, Bimrose discusses his family background and early life in Spokane, Washington, and in Portland, Oregon, including his early interest in art. He discusses his early career in art, particularly commercial art, during the Depression. He also talks about his summer jobs with the Southern Pacific Railroad during his high school years, the effect the Depression had on his family, and his early political beliefs. He discusses working for the Oregonian newspaper, first as a photo re-toucher and later as a cartoonist. He talks about developing his art style, his process in creating political cartoons, and the editorial policies of the Oregonian. He also briefly talks about his experience in the U.S. Army during World War II, particularly the effect it had on his personality and home life. He also talks about the difficulty in drawing cartoons for the Oregonian that were supportive of the Vietnam War, despite his personal opposition to it. He describes his use of symbolism in his cartoons; talks about politicians he admired; and discusses the Oregonian editorial conferences that he attended. He also talks about some of the controversial topics on which he drew cartoons and working with the Oregonian editorial page editors. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.