I was very busy imagining and dreaming last night (no doubt heavily influenced by two hours of addictive googling) about my still mild infatuation with 1890s' Paris, Toulouse Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge - all of which I have loved since my teens - as well as the 1920s' Flappers and, as it turns out, John Held Jr (Jan 1889 - March 1958) illustrations!
John Held Jr - more on him later, just teasing at this stage - was a fantastic illustrator with a wicked, clever sense of humour. At the age of 15, he sold his first one to Life Magazine, which proved to be the beginning of a long front cover partnership. What I wanted to share was: his drawings are whimsical and insightful, and the colours he used were, simply, FANTASTIC! Not to mention the clever headlines, like the "She Left Home Under a Cloud" below. His Life Magazine covers, Broadway posters and Flapper illustrations actually made me think a little bit of Alexander McCall Smith, E.F. Benson and Barbara Pym - a lot to take in, I know! They all have one thing in common: taking a really close look at society, the impressions people make, and how they interact. Again, more on these great authors, later!
Anyway - wanted to satisfy part of my urge to blog about these inspirational people this morning - it even got me out of bed quick smart!
Here are just a few John Held Jr illustrations, a Dorothy Parker poem (and trust me, I don't particularly like poems, but this one really appealed to me) and, to top it all off, an opening line from a Barbara Pym novel ...
My ramblings probably don't make (much) sense to most, but am putting finger to keyboard, all the same!
Take a look at these beauties - don't worry, I will post them all soon, there are lots more where these come from, thanks to the clever WWW! These particular images were copied from Magazine Art's website and a few different blogs, thank you!
'Hold Em', Football number
November 10, 1925
Source: Rich Doty, collector of John Held, Jr. art
Source: Mark Forer
Originally updated by Gatochy
And last but not least (I must get the kids ready for school!), here is Dorothy Parker's Flapper poem ... Barbara Pym will have to wait until a bit later, sorry!
"The Flapper", Dorothy Parker:
The playful flapper here we see,
The fairest of the fair.
She’s not what Grandma used to be,
You might say, au contraire.
Her girlish ways make quite a stir,
Her manners cause a scene,
But there is no harm in her
Than in a submarine.
She nightly knocks for many a goal
The usual dancing men.
Her speed is great, but her control
Is something else again.
All spotlights focus on her pranks.
All tongues her prowess herald.
For which she may well render thanks
To God and Scott Fitzgerald.
Her golden rule is plain enough –
Just get them young and treat them rough.
Some web sources imply that she criticised the flapper fad, but you can still see her sense of poking fun at these remarkable women! And I'll let you in on the F. Scott Fitzgerald reference later, too.
Have a great day!