Illustrator of the Jazz Age: John Held Jr

It was the time of flappers, the Charleston, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Prohibition, speak-easies, and Al Capone.

 It was the time of Jazz babies, champagne baths, necking parties, and sleek roadsters.held jr

It was the time of movie palaces and silent film stars: Valentino, Chaplin, and the “It” girl, Clara Bow.

It was a time when lasses rolled their stockings, powdered their knees, bobbed their hair, shed their corsets and shortened their skirts.

 And chronicling it all, with gentle  good humor, was the genius of John Held Jr., American artist, cartoonist, and illustrator of the Jazz Age. Held is most famous for his images of the Roaring 20’s, an era and a generation he helped to define. His work is energetic, often colorful, and definitely humorous.

held fr 2

 John Held Jr was the bees knees*…the cat’s meow*…the berries*…so do yourself a favor and check him out, maybe over a glass of giggle water*. (*expressions popularized or coined in the 20’s, giggle water was an alcoholic drink.)

Since Held is not as well-known as  Van Gogh, it is more difficult to find his work. I wish I could provide a link  that features most of his work but frankly I couldn’t find one. And since copyright on his work is still in effect I can only provide images found in the public domain. However if you google John Held Jr and go to images you will find more representational work of his humor and talent. I also found books, posters and fine art prints available on-line.


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