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Victor J. Herman Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Herman, Victor J.
Title: Victor J. Herman Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1943-1974
Quantity: 6.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American illustrator, painter, and commercial artist. Collection includes correspondence, clippings and articles about Herman, and original and published artwork. The bulk of the collection consists of commercial work done for the 7-Up company.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Vic Herman (1916-1999) was an American cartoonist and illustrator. He worked primarily in corporate art, and created many familiar characters such as Winnie the Wac (U.S. Navy), Elsie the Cow (Borden), Reddy Kilowatt (electricity generation industry), 7-UP Sam (7-Up), Lernda Lesson, Roscoe, Al Vann, Keg and Case, Sad Shad (Johnson & Johnson), Mike Master, Two Dollar Joe, Will Selmore, Hy Proof, Mr Magic Motion Mojud Man, The Phillips 66 man, and Bert Brew. He also illustrated and wrote books for elementary public school children and taught at schools in California and at New York University.

Herman began to develop a love for Mexico when he attended Mexican-American elementary schools as a child in California, and when he returned to painting later in his career, some of his work focused on Mexico and Mexican themes. His paintings created a cultural bridge between Mexico and the United States, since both governments individually sponsored his work, and he was known as the "Norman Rockwell of Mexico" and "Ambassador With A Brush." Other high points of his career included covering Mexico for Gourmet magazine, being given a gallery to display his works in Los Angeles from the Mexican government, and being the only American or Mexican to sketch the dances of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico while on tour.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Vic Herman Papers consists of correspondence, memorabilia, original art and printed material. The bulk of the collection consists of commercial work done for the 7-Up company.

Correspondence contains a small number of letters to Herman from various individuals. A few items relate to Herman's 1973 "Faces of Mexico" exhibit.

Memorabilia includes several articles about Herman and a variety of articles, clippings, advertisements and other material relating to Herman's 1973 "Faces of Mexico" exhibit.

Original art contains paste-ups, sketches, and photocopied proof pages for work Herman did for 7-Up, as well as magazine cartoons and illustrations, some original Winne the WAC cartoons, and miscellaneous sketches and color work.

Printed material contains final printed version of some of the 7-Up publications and a few magazine illustrations.

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Arrangement of the Collection

All material is arranged alphbatically by type and then by title; within each title items are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

My Days Are Made of Butterflies by Sano M. Galea'i Fa'apouli, illustrated by Vic Herman, transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.

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Subject Headings


Herman, Victor J.


Advertising layout and typography.
Commercial art.
Illustrators -- United States.


Mexico -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms




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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Victor J. Herman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DMW
Date: Nov 1979
Revision history: 6 Jun 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 8 Sep 2010 - processed, updated (MRC)

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Box 1 Miscellaneous 1968-1974 - includes some related to "Faces of Mexico"
Box 1 Articles about
Box 1 "Many Faces of Mexico" exhibit 1973-1974
Original art
Progressive Sales Manual
Oversize 1 Paste-ups, pages 1-71
Oversize 2 Paste-ups, pages 72-146
Sales Maker's Idea Book
Oversize 3 1969, Nov, Dec Paste-ups
Oversize 3 1970, Mar, Aug-Dec Paste-ups
Box 1 1970, Mar, Aug-Dec Proofs and typescript
Oversize 3 1971, Jan-Feb Paste-ups
Box 1 1971, Jan-Feb Proofs and typescript
Oversize 4 1971, Mar-Jul, Dec Paste-ups
Box 1 1971, Mar-Jul, Dec Proofs and typescript
Oversize 5 1972, Jan-Feb, May-Dec Paste-ups
Box 1 1972, Jan-Feb, May-Dec Proofs and typescript (2 folders)
Oversize 5 Undated Paste-ups
Selling, Advertising and Merchandising with 7-Up SAM
Oversize 6 1965 Jul, Sep-Dec Paste-ups
Oversize 7 1966 Jan-Feb, Apr-Dec Paste-ups
Oversize 8 1967 Jan-Sep, Nov-Dec Paste-ups
Oversize 9 1968, Jan, Feb, Mar, May, Jun Paste-ups
Magazine work
Oversize 10 Magazine cartoons 1943-1947
Oversize 10 Magazine illustrations 1940-1960
Winnie the WAC
Oversize 10 Miscellaneous cartoons undated
Oversize 10 Sketches, color work undated
Printed material
Box 2 Progressive Sales Manual 1960 - proofs and published volume (2 folders)
Box 2 Sales Maker's idea Book 1972 Jan, Feb, Aug, Sep, Oct
Box 2 Selling, Advertising and Merchandising with 7-Up SAM 1966-1967
Oversize 10 Selling, Advertising and Merchandising with 7-Up SAM undated
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Magazine work
Oversize 10 Illustrations undated

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