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 -
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.