Oral history interview with Art Bimrose [Transcript]

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Oral history interview with Art Bimrose [Transcript]


  • 1989-04-26 (Creation)


Transcript; 39 pages

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Arthur Sylvanus Bimrose was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1912. Early in his childhood, his family relocated to Portland, Oregon. He was interested in art from an early age and after graduating high school he spent a year studying at the San Francisco Art Institute. During the Depression, he used his artistic skills to make a living doing sign painting and showcard work for retail businesses, including Fred Meyer, Inc. In 1937, he began working for the Oregonian newspaper as a photo-retoucher and occasional cartoonist. In 1937, he and Olga Ann Frances Radilovich were married; they later had one child. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater. After his discharge, he returned to the Oregonian newspaper. In 1947, he became the paper's political cartoonist. He retired in 1983. He died in 1998.

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Transcript. 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.

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Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

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  • eng

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