Monday, 18 October 2021

John Held Jr. - part 4


John Held, Jr. (1889-1958) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, was a cartoonist whose work epitomised the “jazz age” of the 1920s in the United States. At the age of 16 he was drawing sports and political cartoons for the Salt Lake Tribune, and at 19 he sold his first cartoon to a national magazine. Shortly afterward he moved to New York City, where he worked in the art department of a newspaper.

After service in the U.S. Navy during World War I, Held returned to New York City, where he gained fame and wealth for his drawings in the popular humour magazines Life, Judge, and College Humor. These drawings conveyed a spirit of the era comparable to that in the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald. In particular, Held created such immortal characters as the short-skirted, short-haired “flapper,” who rolled her stockings and used a long cigarette holder, and her escort, who wore a raccoon coat, had patent-leather hair parted in the middle, smoked a pipe, and carried a hip flask. Held’s ability to point up the foibles of the time without sentimentality or bitterness made his cartoons notable. Also during the 1920s, he drew two comic strips: “Merely Margie, an Awfully Sweet Girl” and “Rah, Rah, Rosalie,” both of which ended with the Depression.

During the 1930s Held wrote novels and short stories and did sculpture and woodcuts. His woodcuts, often evoking the “Gay Nineties,” appeared in The New Yorker magazine. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was stationed in Belmar, N.J., where he made his home after the war. Held’s Angels (1952), illustrated by Held, with text by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr., was a word and picture evocation of the 1920s.

For more information on John Held Jr. see part 1, and for earlier works see parts 1 - 3 also. 

This is part 4 of a 6-part series on the works of John Held Jr:

1928 Her Beauty She Sold for an Old'Man's Gold
wood engraving
The New Yorker

1928 Horse Whipping the Masher and Good for Him
wood engraving
The New Yorker

1928 How to Behave—Though a Debutante
Book cover and dust jacket (below)

1928 How to Behave—Though a Debutante
Book cover and dust jacket

1928 Jesse James
wood engraving

1928 Life magazine, March 1
"The Tattooed Man Goes Collegiate!"

1928 Life magazine, April 19
Burlesque Number

1928 Life magazine, June 3 Commencement Number
"The Sweet Girl Graduate"

c1928 New England is Vacationland
poster

c1928 The Rumrunner’s Sister-in-Law
lino-cut 37.8 x 28 cm
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

1929 Lobby Card
 "So This is College"

1930 Anna Held's Milk Bath
woodcut

1930 Dream Girls of a Dim Decade
wood engraving

1930 Film Swedish film poster for "The Girl Said No!"

1930 I'll Tell my Big Brother by Edward Dean Sullivan
dust jacket, published by The Vanguard Press Inc.,
 New York

1930 Making Love to You

1930 Saturday to Monday by Newman Levy and
 John Held Jr
published by Alfred A Knopf

1930 Saxophone Player

1930 Soldering the Bustle
wood engraving

1930 The Awakening

1930 The Dust Ruffle
wood engraving


1930 The Open Placket
wood engraving

1930 The Secret Pocket in the Pettiskirt
wood engraving

1930 Until the James Runs Dry, Grim Youth
book illustration
pen and ink on board 30.5 x 21.6 cm

1930 Untitled (probably from the above book)



1930s The Garter

1930s The Drunkard's Wife
wood engraving

1930s That romantic spot known as the "Back Room" Ah-me!
wood engraving

1930s Northward - The New Haven R.R.
Poster

1930s Forty Famous Cocktails
wood engraving

c1930 Untitled (boy and girl on a couch) for the magazine College Humor
black ink 21.8 x 38.5 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

1930 The Outlines of Sport published by Duttons Inc., NY:

1930 The Outlines of Sport, book illustration
pen and ink on board 22.9 x 26.7 cm

1930 The Outlines of Sport, book illustration
pen and ink on board 25.4 x 25.4 cm

1930 The Outlines of Sport, book illustration
pen and ink on board 27.9 x 17.8 cm

1930 The Outlines of Sport, book illustration
pen and ink on board

1930-31 Merely Margie, comic strip:

1930 Merely Margie comic strip
pen and ink on board 50.8 x 55.2 cm
(see below)

Detail

Detail

1930 Merely Margie
comic strip pen and ink on board 55.2 x 50.8 cm
(see below)

Detail

Detail

1930 Merely Margie
comic strip pen and ink on board 55.2 x 51.4 cm
(see below)

Detail

Detail

c1930-31 Merely Margie comic strip
pen and ink on board 26.7 x 58.4 cm
(see below)

Detail

Detail

1931 But Madame It's the Latest

1931 Are you a Virgin?

1931 A Vision in Pink

1931 A Summer Breeze

1931 A Little Wrestling

1931 A Land Beulah

1931 A Bird in a Gilded Cage

1931 (Yeah) It's Cooler Here