The John Canemaker Collection

At the New York University Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, The Fales Library and Special Collections

Finding Aid: Documentary and Graphic Materials 1928 - 1990 Compiled by Robert A. Landau


The John Canemaker Animation Collection was donated to the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York University, through a formal agreement signed by the Library and John Canemaker on August 18, 1988. Additional material was received in 1991.

Canemaker began collecting the material in the early 1970's and this rich research source, devoted to the history, technique, and cultural significance of film animation, will be enlarged with additional material of historical and contemporary interest. The collection will serve the needs both of Canemaker's students at the University's Tisch School of the Arts and of researchers in film animation.

The documentary material, with a detailed inventory by Canemaker, was received in six archive boxes. Approximately 2 cubic feet of small boxes, folders, binders and other temporary containers were removed. In addition to the manuscript and graphic materials, a library of about 50 books and more than 200 issues of periodicals was donated and form part of the collection housed in the Fales Library. Some 14 video tapes and over 100 audio tapes of interviews, lectures, and seminars are housed in the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media, Bobst Library, and are being catalogued separately.

The collection in the Fales Library is open to researchers and students under the rules that apply to other special collections in the Library and use of the material is subject to the usual copyright restrictions.

John Canemaker: a Biographical Sketch

"No subject matter is off-limits or deemed too 'difficult' for the animation imagination of John Canemaker, who has extended the vocabulary of the art form way beyond the 'safe' cartoon image. Canemaker is an extraordinarily skillful artist whose distinctive style is nevertheless ultimately defined by the subject matter. Canemaker addresses the core of his subject with compassion and fearlessness-the painterly qualities and the accomplished, energetic line movement expressing his artistic vision."
Jytte Jensen, Associate Curator, Department of Film and Video The Museum of Modern Art

A child's struggle with cancer * the vibrant art of pop idol John Lennon and painter Keith Haring come to life * the longing of a young boy for the father he never knew...a grim look at nuclear anxiety...the inner workings of the mind and the creative imagination...child survivors of abuse *

Subjects not often associated with the animated cartoon, these are but a few of John Canemaker's sensitive and moving creations. An internationally known animator, filmmaker, author, teacher and lecturer, Canemaker has forged a distinguished career that combines keen artistic sensibility and deft creative execution.

For the full archive information on the John Canemaker Collection go to

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