Famous Illustrators – John Held, Jr.

John Held, Jr was the preeminent artist of the Jazz Age who was widely published in the New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, Life Magazine and Vanity Fair. Held was famous for his depiction of the popular Roaring Twenties dance ‘The Charleston’ and his depictions of college-age women and in particular “the flapper”. 


Held’s images were done in an angular stype. His scantily clad flapper was accepted by scandalized elders as the prototype of modern youth, the symbol of our moral revolution….Week after week in Life and Judge and College Humor, they danced the Charleston with ropes and beads swinging and bracets clanking and legs kicking at right angles…

yp-1927 A Yale Princeton Program from 1927, cover design by John Held, Jr.

Held lived for a long time near Yale in Westport, Connecticut.  He was also known for infusing his works with a sense of humor, which is evident in the Yale v. Princeton program he did for Yale in 1927 with his depiction of a Chinese football player being cheered on by Yale and Princeton fans.


Harvard v. Yale Program 1928

Held was also known for his maps/illustrations including the one in the Harvard/Yale Program above.  He also did illustrations on Trout Fishing, Winter Sports, Americana, The Sportsman’s Map of Florida, Saratoga Springs.



Many of Held’s illustrations featured his unique sense of humor and buxom women or people living the life of sin:


website of collectableivy

One Response to “Famous Illustrators – John Held, Jr.”


    I have a wonderful map of Connecticut that has small characters done by John Held. It’s dated 1935. It is framed and matted wonderfully. I wonder what the retail price should be.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: