Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Nov 1994
|Dec 1999||revisions (KM)|
|5 Jun 2005||EAD file created (MRR)|
|13 Sep 2012||box numbers corrected (MRC)|
|19 Feb 2014||corrected boxes 1/2 (MRC)|
|18 Jul 2014||processed adds, rehoused packages, added recording (MRC)|
|17 Oct 2016||added audiorecording to inventory (PJM)|
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Coiner, Charles T.|
|Title:||Charles Coiner Papers|
|Quantity:||10 linear ft.|
|Abstract:||Correspondence (1930s-1970); design drawings for government commissions, including preliminary sketches and other material pertaining to the NRA blue eagle as well as civilian defense logos and war posters; documents relating to various Ayer clients, including the Container Corporation of America; ms. essays and speeches, and tear sheets for Coiner's 'Clipping Board' column; and memorabilia, including awards, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and photographs. Correspondence includes letters of Raymond A. Ballinger, Herbert Bayer, Harry Bouras, Alexey Brodovitch, Werner Drewes, Leo Lionni, George Samerjan, Lajos Szalay, and others.|
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Charles Coiner (1897-1989) was an American painter and art director. He joined the advertising firm of N.W. Ayer & Sons in 1924 as a layout designer, became art director in 1929, and was a vice-president when he retired in 1964. Coiner designed civilian defense and government posters during World War II, the blue eagle symbol of the National Recovery Administration, and the Boys Clubs of America commemorative stamp issued in 1960.
Spanning 1933 to 1984, the Charles Coiner Papers comprises correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the American painter and advertising agency art director (1897-1989). A reflection of both his 40-year association with N. W. Ayer and his commissioned work for the government, the collection illuminates not only Coiner's pioneering efforts to bring artists without commercial experience to advertising, but also his creative work as a designer of war posters, civilian defense logos, and the Blue Eagle symbol of the National Recovery Administration.
Encompassing both incoming letters and outgoing carbons and/or drafts, the Correspondence (Box 1) focuses primarily on Coiner's work with Ayer Inc., a career which began in 1924 in layout design and ended with his 1964 retirement as art director and vice-president. Although there are some letters from the 1930s in response to the publicity surrounding Coiner's Blue Eagle design, the bulk of the correspondence centers around the 1950s and '60s and concerns advertising campaigns for various clients, most notably the Container Corporation of America. An active recruiter of artists for his advertising projects, Coiner's correspondents include Tore Asplund, Raymond A. Ballinger, Herbert Bayer, Harry Bouras, Alexey Brodovitch, Bob Cargill, Werner Drewes, W. Emerton Heitland, Harry Leith-Ross, Antonio Martino, Louise Pershing, George Samerjan, James William Schucker, Joseph Sinel, Kenneth Stuart, Lajos Szalay, Norman Todhunter, and Hugo Weber.
Designs, drawings, personal greeting cards, and printed reproductions of paintings constitute Artwork (Boxes 1-2). Arranged by client, artwork designs include original sketches and/or printed examples of logos, trademarks, letterheads, stationery, and posters which Coiner produced for both private companies and the federal government. All stages of development from original sketches to a full-size banner document the creation of Coiner's NRA Blue Eagle and its ubiquitous display. Other government commissions included posters and logos designed for the Office for Emergency Management, the Office of Production Management, and the Office of Civilian Defense as well as a 4-cent Boys' Clubs of America commemorative stamp for the Post Office.
Writings includes manuscript essays, printed articles, and the text of a number of Coiner's speeches delivered between 1946 and 1962. With the exception of the tear sheets for his "Clipping Board" columns (1944-1966) from Advertising Agency Magazine, Coiner's manuscript essays and published articles have been arranged by title in a single sequence.
Memorabilia consists of awards, photographs, and printed material, which includes clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs (1963-1984), and news releases. Magazine reproductions of and articles about the NRA Blue Eagle constitute the bulk of the clippings.
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.
Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.
Ballinger, Raymond A., 1907-1985.
Bayer, Herbert, 1900-1985.
Brodovitch, Alexey, 1898-1971.
Coiner, Charles T.
Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985.
Lionni, Leo, 1910-1999.
Szalay, Lajos, 1909-1995.
Container Corporation of America.
N. W. Ayer & Sons.
United States. -- National Recovery Administration.
United States. -- Office for Emergency Management
Advertising agencies -- United States.
Art and industry.
Art and war.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Commercial art -- United States.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Genres and Forms
Clippings (information artifacts)
Freehand drawings (drawings)
Monoprints (painting and printing works)
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Charles Coiner Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Gift of Charles Coiner.
Selected Index to Correspondence
|Box 1||Biographical material|
|Box 1||Coiner to Elsie Mae Howe 1924|
|Box 1||Coiner to Elsie Mae Howe, about recital 1933|
|Box 1||Miscellaneous 1930s-1986, undated (10 folders)|
|See also Selected Index to Correpondence for more information.|
|Designs (by client) - most of these are examples of print advertisements; almost none is original artwork|
|Box 2||AT & T 1960-1962 - "Telephone location identification"|
|Oversize 2||Avisco (textiles) undated|
|Oversize 2||Avondale (textiles) undated|
|Oversize 2||Boeing undated|
|Box 2||Buckingham Township Civic Association undated|
|Box 2||Champion Papers (Miho) undated (2 folders)|
|Box 2||Community Chests and Councils, Inc. 1945|
|Oversize 2||C & P Telephone undated|
|Oversize 2||Camel (cigarettes) undated|
|Oversize 2||Capehart and Farnsworth (audio cabinets) undated|
|Oversize 2||Champ (wool) undated|
|Container Corporation of America|
|Box 2||[General] 1945-1964 (2 folders)|
|Oversize 3||Oversize material 1960, undated|
|Oversize 2||Crown (rayon) undated|
|Oversize 2||Dole (fruit) undated|
|Oversize 2||Ekco (kitchen appliances) undated|
|Oversize 2||Felt & Tarrant (calculators, "Comptometers"; also at least one ad for war bonds) undated|
|Oversize 2||Ford Motor Company - sketches, layouts, printed advertisements, etc. for Lincoln Symphony, Ford V-8, Murray bodies|
|Box 2||Great Abaco Club undated|
|Oversize 2||Forstmann (wool) undated|
|Oversize 2||French Line (cruise company) undated|
|Oversize 2||Goodyear undated|
|Box 2||Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Ltd. 1947|
|Oversize 2||Kelly-Springfield (tires) undated|
|Oversize 2||Ladies Home Journal undated|
|Oversize 2||Marcus & Company (jewellers) undated|
|Box 2||National War Fund 1943|
|Oversize 2||N. W. Ayers (advertising agency) undated|
|Box 2||Octagon Soap Products undated|
|Box 2||Pennsylvania Hospital 1962|
|Oversize 2||Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association undated|
|Box 2||Philadelphia Museum of Art undated|
|Oversize 2||Plymouth (Chrysler) undated|
|Oversize 2||Polk-Miller (canine medication; ad relates to supporting armed forces) undated|
|Oversize 2||Punch undated|
|Oversize 2||Silvercup (bread) undated|
|Oversize 2||Steinway (pianos) undated|
|Oversize 2||United Air Lines undated|
|National Recovery Administration (NRA) 1933|
|Box 2||[General] (3 folders)|
|Oversize 3||Posters 1933-1934, undated - several different designs, including humorous ones "For Communists" and "For burlesque and circus fans"|
|Oversize 4||Banner [?] - canvas, red white and blue, VERY large when unfolded|
|Office for Emergency Management 1942|
|See also War Production Board.|
|[General] (9 items, some duplicates)|
|Office of Civilian Defense 1941|
|Box 2||[General] (3 folders)|
|Oversize 3||Icons and symbols - for air raid warden, emergency housing, medical facility, etc.; original art|
|Office of Production Management|
|Box 3||[General] undated|
|Oversize xxx||Posters undated|
|Box 3||Post Office 1960 - 4 cent Boys' Clubs of America commemorative postage stamp|
|Box 3||U.S.S. Enterprise 1961|
|Box 3||War Manpower Commission undated|
|War Production Board 1943|
|See also Office for Emergency Management.|
|Oversize 2||Waltham (watches) undated|
|Oversize 2||Wamsutta (sheets, pillowcases) undated|
|Oversize 2||Webster (cigars) undated|
|Oversize 2||Yardley (perfumes / fragrances) undated|
|Box 3||Miscellaneous - assorted letterheads, stationery, trademarks, etc.|
|Non-client or unidentified|
|Box 3||Calendars with reproductions of Coiner art 1973-1974, 1980|
|Box 3||Drawings - original artwork including drawings, sketches, etc.|
|Oversize 5||Drawings, oversize - original artwork including drawings, sketches, etc.|
|Box 3||Greeting cards, personal 1969-1970, undated|
|Box 3||Paintings - printed reproductions|
|Box 3||Prints 1967|
|Oversize 5||Prints, oversize|
|Box 4||"Clipping Board" 1944-1956, undated (7 folders)|
|Oversize 1||"Clipping Board" - enlargements used in Philadelphia Museum College of Art exhibition|
|Box 4||By title A-Z (2 folders)|
|Box 8||Panel discussion, Art Directors Club, on “Changing Role of the Art Director" 9 Oct 1959 1 reel tape, 7" (ID#: coiner_c_001)|
|Box 4||Speeches 1946-1962, undated (2 folders)|
|Oversize 6||Art Directors Club of Philadephia Hall of Fame 1973|
|Oversize 6||Art Directors Club of Philadephia Hall of Fame undated|
|Oversize 6||Audubon Artists 40th Annual Exhibit Grumbacher Art Award 1982|
|Oversize 6||Ayer Centennial 25-Year Club 1969|
|Oversize 6||Bucks County Arts Award 1982|
|Oversize 6||Philadelphia Club of Advertising Woman 1961|
|Box 5||Miscellaneous 1949-1969|
|Box 5||Financial 1962-1975, undated|
|Box 5||Inventories of paintings 1981-1985, undated|
|Box 5||Legal 1963, undated|
|Box 5||Medical 1953-1974, undated|
|Box 5||Photographs (5 folders)|
|Oversize 3||Photograph, oversize - unidentified commencement ceremony|
|Box 5||NRA Blue Eagle 1933-1935, undated (3 folders)|
|Box 6||Miscellaneous 1933-1989, undated (2 folders)|
|Box 6||Exhibition announcements, invitations 1960s-1980s, undated (4 folders)|
|Box 6||Exhibition catalogs 1920s-1960s, undated (5 folders)|
|Box 7||Exhibition catalogs 1970s-1980s, undated (5 folders)|
|Box 7||News releases|
|Box 7||Wartime images - majority World War II|
|Box 7||Scrapbook - bound volume containing clipped monograms, seals, wax seals, etc.|
|Box 8||Art Directors Club Panel Discussion - “Changing Role of the Art Director 10/09/1959 - running time 90:00 minutes 1/4 inch audio tape (ID#: coiner_c_001 )|