John Held Jr. (1889 - 1958)

Characterised as the Illustrator of the Age of the Flapper - of Varsity pranks and clinging couples in the back of a Ford - Held was more than this, not least in delightfully witty maps and amazing pastiches. Mainly self-educated he was associated in his early career with the original LIFE magazine, a humorous periodical. As a sideline he developed his own eccentric blockprints, using the stylistic conventions of nineteenth century American graphics - its fliers and posters.

He once stood for Congress without once leaving his own house or addressing a single constituent. He later developed a rather disappointing sculptural impulse and died a rich man.

Shelley Armitage, John Held, Illustrator of the Jazz Age , Syracuse University Press, Syracuse 1987.

Connelly and Weinhardt, The Most of John Held Jr. , The Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vermont, 1972.

01 John Held Jr., idiosyncratic map of the United States of America - "Americana".
02 03 The Fate of the Cigarette Fiend, November 1925.
05 from Held's A Bowl of Cherries published in 1932
06 from Frank Shay, My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions, NY 1937.