John Held, Jr., Illustrator of the Jazz Age: Illustrator of the Jazz Age

Shelley Armitage, Author, Laurinda S. Dixon, With Syracuse University Press $37.5 (220p) ISBN 978-0-8156-0215-6
Illustrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tales of the Jazz Age, Held (1889-1958) popularized the image of the Roaring Twenties flapper. But, even though his cartoons, ads and posters brought him wealth and fame, he yearned to be a serious artist and a writer. He lost his fortune in the stock-market crash and suffered a nervous breakdown. Turning to fiction, he wrote sardonic short stories and novels that satirized a materialistic, youth-oriented culture. His once-charmed fans were dismayed. Nor did he fare better with his hauntingly bleak watercolors or his bronze sculptures, which managed to inject humor into classical form. Armitage, who teaches at West Texas State University, has produced a searching biographical study crammed with illustrations that add period charm. Held's stinging caricatures of the superficially liberated woman ring true today. (December)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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