After negotiating with several institutions over the disposition of a trove of original drawings and roughs by himself and his wife Mary Petty, Alan Dunn decided to send their estate to Syracuse University in 1966. Dunn worked on ideas and drawings virtually until his death from a heart attack in 1974. The New Yorker, the principal magazine that bought his work, published just over 2000 cartoons and nine cover illustrations making him to this day the most prolific cartoon artist in the magazine's history. In contrast, Mary Petty was a more determinate artist. She had a narrower range of subjects and never submitted anything but finished drawings for consideration to the New Yorker. Together the couple had a lasting impact on the art of drawing cartoons. Over the more than forty years they worked at the magazine, their drawings helped define the New Yorker's style of visual humor. In 1978 the Petty-Dunn Center for Social Cartooning was established by the university whose purpose is to maintain and promote its collection of over three thousand accessioned drawings and another several thousand of Alan Dunn's unaccessioned roughs.


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