Baby D's Bagels
$20 Worth of Food and Drink for Only $10

November 6, 2013

A touch of madness

Hugh Haynie, the man behind the city’s most memorable editorial cartoons, was as animated as the political figures he drew

Driving a pale primrose 1966 Jaguar E-Type around town is the opposite of subtle, so Hugh Haynie had to use a decoy whenever he wanted to be discreet. The sports-car enthusiast, who considered himself a gentleman from Virginia and constantly brought flowers and teddy bears to the women around him, bought himself a primer grey ’58 Volkswagen Beetle. The responsibility of getting this undercover car where it needed to be usually fell on his adult son and primary wingman, Smith Haynie. The two were better at being drinking buddies and best friends than maintaining what a family counselor might say is a healthy father-son relationship.

“That’s just the way dad was,” says Smith Haynie, who not once during our three-hour conversation uses the phrase “my dad,” only the unqualified “dad,” as if the man belongs to everyone, or has taken on a mythical status. 

Neither is that far a stretch. A generation of Louisvillians grew up on the political cartoons of Hugh Haynie, which appeared six days a week for almost 40 years in the editorial pages of The Courier-Journal, as well as in dozens of newspapers across the country. From the Eisenhower Administration through Clinton’s first term, the news topic of the day was filtered through Haynie’s unique worldview and recorded in newsprint for the community to discuss amongst itself. They included civil rights marches, the Vietnam War, the moon landing, Watergate and the assassination of President Kennedy, who Haynie knew personally. Haynie infamously earned a place on Nixon’s list of enemies of the White House. No topic proved too sacred for the draftsman’s tools.

His most beloved cartoon, which runs in the C-J every Christmas Eve, contrasts an iconic image of Jesus with that of a man surrounded by wrapped presents, holding a long shopping list and contemplating, “Have I forgotten anyone?”

It’s these bold, illustrative graphics that set the foundation for Hugh Haynie’s professional legacy, but for those who knew him, the eccentric and extraordinary man behind the editorial desk was just as interesting as the ink shaped by his fingertips.

Smith Haynie, now a family court judge here in Louisville, describes his father as a “beautiful tornado” with endless artistic talent but zero interest in what he called “the vagaries of life.” Hugh was a man who took his wife on a honeymoon to Washington, D.C., to watch Brown vs. Board of Education argued before the Supreme Court. (She’d loved it.) He never cooked, opting instead to eat all meals at local bars. At said bars, he would only pay with $2 bills because it meant the staff could more easily recognize how much he’d spent there — plus, the newly released bills just interested him. When the family vacationed, he always forgot to pack, which forced everyone to spend the first day of any vacation at the nearest store buying new clothes for him. (For this reason, the Haynies never went on a cruise.)

As this collection of peculiarities spills out, Smith Haynie laughs. He knows how strange they seem, especially when strung together like a laundry list of oddities, but collectively they color the black-and-white cartoons his father was known for. Smith is the first to admit his dad may have been the embodiment of the Seneca quote, “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”

That touch of madness may have been fueled by a belief that he would die young. Hugh Haynie’s father, a successful Virginia businessman in the menhaden fishing industry, died at 50, and his brother died at 40. “Dad was convinced he would die young,” recalls Smith Haynie. “Maybe that’s why he lived life the way he did.”

Hugh Haynie died at the age of 72 in 1998, two years into his retirement from the newspaper industry and just 10 days after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The doctor told Smith Haynie he must have had a will to die, to die on his own terms while still mentally sharp and active. Quiet, prolonged deterioration wouldn’t have suited Hugh Haynie.

Political cartoonists are trending downward. As newspapers struggle with declining print circulations and monetizing the web, cartoonists are often among the first cut during layoffs. At the same time, the power and prestige of the craft seems to be fading.

Smith Haynie believes his father’s talent and skills would be lost in today’s media climate. When Hugh Haynie first began drawing newspaper cartoons in the ’50s, televisions had three channels and aired only part of the day, making political cartoons still one of the top forms of visual communication for information about the world. Since then, the world’s seen the spawn of a 24-hour news cycle, where quick commentary and surface-level snark too often overrules carefully crafted critiques.

“He was the right person, in the right place, at the right time,” says Smith Haynie.

It’s with all this in mind that Smith Haynie and the Frazier History Museum present “Hugh Haynie: The Art of Opinion,” a new exhibit featuring 106 original pieces of artwork spanning across the length of the cartoonist’s career. One-hundred of the pieces are from Smith’s private collection; the remaining six are loaned from local politicians. Hugh was known for giving away his originals without a second thought, sometimes even to readers who sent letters saying they’d liked what they saw in the newspaper.

Curators have broken the pieces into themes: campaigns, scandals, domestic issues, foreign issues and social policy. Kelly Williams, the director of collections at Frazier, says this breakdown highlights how relevant much of Haynie’s work still is today. Gun control, health care, gay rights, campaign finance reform — it’s all there.

Smith Haynie worries the exhibit, which opens this week and runs through January, will be the last opportunity the locals who grew up reading his cartoons in the daily newspaper have to see the original work. He hopes the collection might find a permanent home here in the city, though nothing has been worked out yet.

“He influenced a generation,” says Smith Haynie. “He waded into issues with gusto. He loved fighting for the underdog, and he hated the thought of tyranny. He held America to its ideals. He’s too great a talent to be lost to time.”

Hugh haynie

By oakstreetgirl
You forgot finding Lois! Haynie was my hero growing up-and I once owned an original cartoon he drew when he spoke at my school. He formed consciousness for a generation. Now, where's Lois?!

Hugh Haynie & Hidden "Lois'"

By GSDAVENPORT
@ oakstreetgirl: Regarding your closing comment/question about "Now, where's Lois?" Mr. Haynie sadly stopped hiding "Lois" in his daily cartoons at some point during 1973. This was because they divorced that year. The "LAST" daily Haynie cartoon back-then containing "Lois" had, respectfully no pun intended, a Byline at the bottom of the cartoon stating "Adios Lois." /:o( The cartoon accompanying this article regrettably would not have had any Lois' hidden within it. I have been a dedicated Hugh Haynie Fan, Student, Archivist & Collector of his cartoons for 52years and earlier this year I created a Haynie Cartoon Tribute Page on FaceBook…..here's the LINK if you are interested in seeing loads of Classic Haynie: https://www.facebook.com/HughHayniePoliticalCartoonArchives

Haynie's genius

By ToddFlowers
I have fond memories of "reading" Haynie's cartoons as a child with my father each day and searching for "Lois" hidden somewhere in the shadow, shadows, etc. Those that followed Haynie know what I am talking about. While I often had to rely on my father explaining the significance of the cartoon, I was nevertheless fascinated by the art. As I got older (smarter?), I began to appreciate Haynie's genius beyond the obvious art talent. I remember feeling we--as Louisvillians--were somehow special to have Haynie draw for us. He seemed too big/good to be confined to the Courier-Journal. I now realize that he was in fact too good to be confined to one market...thankfully syndication allowed others to share in our good fortune. I look forward to the Exhibit at Frazier and hope to some day have the opportunity to acquire a Haynie original.

Haynie's genius

By ToddFlowers
I have fond memories of "reading" Haynie's cartoons as a child with my father each day and searching for "Lois" hidden somewhere in the shadow, shadows, etc. Those that followed Haynie know what I am talking about. While I often had to rely on my father explaining the significance of the cartoon, I was nevertheless fascinated by the art. As I got older (smarter?), I began to appreciate Haynie's genius beyond the obvious art talent. I remember feeling we--as Louisvillians--were somehow special to have Haynie draw for us. He seemed too big/good to be confined to the Courier-Journal. I now realize that he was in fact too good to be confined to one market...thankfully syndication allowed others to share in our good fortune. I look forward to the Exhibit at Frazier and hope to some day have the opportunity to acquire a Haynie original.

Thank you Miss Corbin for this fine article about Mr. Haynie

By GSDAVENPORT
Being a Louisville-Native, I have been a Hugh Haynie Fan, Student, Archivist & Collector of Mr. Haynie's incredible cartoons nearly all of my life. I first discovered him at the age of 5, as my father, too, was a fan of his. Mr. Haynie had a profound influence upon me personally, as well as later professionally as a Graphic Artist/Cartoonist & Engraver to the printing trades. I had the indescribable pleasure of meeting him when I was 10years old. My father had taken off work that day (and I got a day out of school) and drove me down to the Courier-Journal building where Mr. Haynie gave me a never-to-be-forgotten tour of the Editorial Offices and then to "his" studio office. During that visit he gave me several mementoes that "I still have today" (a 24-inch wooden Courier-Journal Ruler with a metal straight-edge {with pennies taped to the back to lift-up the edge} and 3 Windsor-Newton Red Sable Brushes)…he gave these to me right-off of his drawing table…so without a doubt he used these art tools on uncounted cartoons up that moment. The visit was topped-off by Mr. Haynie giving me one of his original art boards. On a second visit about a year later he gave me another original cartoon. I viewed Mr. Haynie as a mentor and with all respect can write that I am, after his family of course, his self-declared biggest and longest sustained admirer of the man and his work. Over the years I have acquired 51 of his original art boards and thousands of his cartoons in some printed form. I've been doing this for 52years now. Earlier this year I created a Tribute Page on FaceBook to Mr. Haynie paying homage to this Master of the Editorial Cartoon….the LINK is below for those of you who are fans then and now. And, yes, there are many-many Lois' hidden in the Classic Haynie cartoons you will see on the tribute page. This page will always be under construction because of the loads of material I have archived. I will certainly attend the Frazier Museum Exhibit…."I would not miss it for anything!!" Thanks again Miss Corbin. Here's the LINK…. {Please Enjoy}: https://www.facebook.com/HughHayniePoliticalCartoonArchives

Making political cartoons

By erickmoore
Making political cartoons still one of the top forms of visual communication for information about the world.

www.mjnmediasolutions.com
click here

Thanks

By lovestorysad
I found this article and I found it really useful and it helped me a lot. I hope to provide something again and help others like you to support me. friv | kizi

Good Article

By friv
After looking over a few of the articles on your web page, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me what you think. friv

Thanks

By thaomy
Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon till now. Friv - Kizi

friv

By motorolla0875
Thank you for sharing this article! Jogos Friv

Hello

By vangiang
thank for sharing,Y8 games,Friv 4,Kizi 2,Friv 10

thanks

By vuha
Thank you so much for sharing.Friv. Kizi 9. Friv 3

Great post

By hoanguyen
I have been waiting for someone to share this post. This has actually made me think and I hope to read more. Thanks a lot for sharing with us. Friv 4 School - Friv 200

Muy interesante el articulo,

By motorolla0875
Muy interesante el articulo, quisiera compartir mi enlace de juegos de friv, si les interesa pueden visitar haciendo clic abajo, gracias x todo, saludos.. Juegos de Friv

very good

By vangiang
I am delighted to be a visitant of this website! Kizi 11 Friv 10 Kizi 100

Great post

By maxover
Thanks, i have recently been searching for info about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest Kizi games...

many thank

By vuha
Many thanks for sharing this, I will share with you their references. Friv 10000

Great post

By saracorner
Great. I'm happy to express that I have a strange feeling very good I found out just what I need here Friv 2014

many thank

By vangiang
Thank you so much Didi game

play

By vuha
Making political cartoons still one of the top forms of visual communication for information about the world. Yepi

I like this sport

By omona187
I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and tell me what you think. girlsgogames

Thank you

By liongirl
I hope to provide something again and help others like you to support me. Thanks.friv | kizi | friv network

I like this sport

By omona187
I was very happy to bring joy to you Y2|Kizi 4