THE work of the founder of the New Zealand Cartoon Archive, Ian Grant, has been honoured at the 2012 Canon Media Awards in Auckland.
Mr Grant was presented with the Print Industry 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award and honoured for his influential role in preserving and enhancing New Zealand’s cartooning heritage.
His cartoon archive, based at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, celebrated its 20th anniversary in April, but it is still under recognised according to National Press Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst.
“He is a modest man with enormous commitment and drive and it is our pleasure to give him his due before his publishing peers,” Mr Pankhurst said.
The archive was launched by then Prime Minister Jim Bolger in 1992, in an effort to preserve and enhance New Zealand’s cartooning, and it has built up 50,000 cartoons, many of them originals, by some 60 cartoonists.
“Twenty years on, the value of cartoons as sources of valuable insights about the attitudes and prejudices of earlier eras is firmly established,” Mr Grant said.
“Most satisfying to me is the increasingly serious attention cartoons get from historians researching and writing the country’s history.”
Mr Grant judged this year’s Canon best cartoon award, as he has in previous years.
An author of 15 books, he is writing his 16th – a history of New Zealand newspapers – with the support of the NPA.
Mr Grant was a founding director of the National Business Review in 1970, and has curated nine of the cartoon archive’s exhibitions and written four of its books.