Collection 228 - Charles Criner Papers and Art Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxAM-C 228

Level of description

Collection

Title

Charles Criner Papers and Art Collection

Date(s)

  • 1960-2009 (Creation)

Extent

16.29 Linear Feet

Name of creator

Biographical history

Charles Criner was born and raised in Athens, Texas on November 27, 1945. In 1964 he attended Texas Southern University and studied art under the guidance of the renowned late artist, Dr. John Biggers. While in college Charles supported himself by working as a sign painter, graphic artist, and billboard illustrator. After graduating in 1968 with a BA in Art Education, he worked for NASA, producing drawings for Apollo 11. Two years later he worked as the advertising art director at the Houston Post that was interrupted for a two-year stint in the Army. He returned to the Houston Post after his service until the Post folded. He started his own business and was lured away to create advertising art for the Houston Chronicle.

Criner is noted for his cartoons including the Johnny Jones series created while in the Army and later adapted for The Houston Post, The Job Crowd, The Dogs and a few others. He also collaborated with his longtime friend, newspaper columnist and sportswriter William Henry Hygh on the Johnny Jones cartoon carried in The Houston Post with Hygh providing the narrative for Criner's art. Mr. Criner's art, ads, and cartoons have been featured in Ebony Magazine, Houston Business Journal, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and in advertising for the Houston Oilers. His works are owned by museums and individual collections throughout the US. He currently teaches at Houston Community College and is the Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Printing History in Houston.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection documents Criner's professional and personal life as an artist and educator. The collection includes correspondence, original works of art, prints, drawings, exhibition photos, postcards, writings, photographs, publicity, news clippings, interviews with Criner, and thank you letters and cards from students and visitors who have been taught the art of printmaking and provided tours of the Museum of Printing History in Houston by Criner. The collection includes a number of Criner's prints and copies of his art reproduced as advertisements, exhibits, and prints. Of particular note are the significant examples of Criner’s various cartoons, Johnny Jones, The Job Crowd, The Dogs, and a few others. These were all produced from his stint in the Army, his work with the Houston Post, Houston Chronicle, HUD, and his collaboration with William Henry Hygh. 

A listing of Criner’s artwork and cartoons is included at the end of the finding guide. The collection includes examples of each of these works either in print, photos, or exhibit material.

System of arrangement

The collection is organized into eight series by type of documents:

  • Series 1, Personal and Professional Documents
  • Series 2, Cartoons
  • Series 3, Advertisements
  • Series 4, Original Art
  • Series 5, Publications
  • Series 6, Miscellaneous
  • Series 7, Items Removed for Cataloging or Separated for Special Housing
  • Series 8, Listing of Art and Cartoons

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Contact the repository.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

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Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: Rebecca Hankins.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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