Archive for the ‘Illustrators’ Category

Will Hollingsworth – Art Deco Illustrator

February 7, 2019

Will Hollingsworth (William R. Hollingsworth, Jr.) was an artist who worked during the Art Deco Period. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hollingsworth died by his own hand at the age of 34. We were recently inspired by his work, which graces some programs in the early 1930s. The prime specimen is the gorgeous Harvard Yale Regatta program from 1932, pictured below. In particular, the subtle and understated use of color stand out.

The Princeton Yale program from 1931, below, is another example of Hollingsworth’s work. The cover illustration is based on an original painting which was given to the writer of the best essay for a contest. Will graduated from the Art Institute in 1934 so these works were all done while he was a student.


Another example of his work, this time in an advertisement, also shows off his subtle use of color:

The Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, where he lived, has a large collection of Hollingsworth’s work. We have a nice selection of vintage programs from various schools and universities on our website:

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Abner J. Epstein Football Programs

September 28, 2018

We have previously written about vintage football programs done by talented and well known illustrators, namely, John Held, Jr., Winslow Williams, Willard Mullin, Ellison Hoover and Gib Crockett. Not surprisingly, most produced their work during the Art Deco period.

The beautiful 1928 Cornell vs. Dartmouth Football Program

Another fabulous program is the Cornell vs. Dartmouth program from 1928, illustrated by Abner J. Epstein. Epstein lived from 1910-1982 and illustrated for, among others The New Yorker and Esquire.  Graduating from Dartmouth in 1931, Abner Dean (his pen name) studied at the National Academy of Design. Dean also authored several illustrated books: And on the Eighth Day; It’s a Long Way to Heaven; and What Am I doing Here?

This football program illustration was done when Dean was a freshman at the college, thus it is signed with his birth name rather than his future pen name. Notice the expressive nature of the eyes on all three people featured on the cover. Absolutely brilliant.

We have a nice selection of vintage football programs on our website:

The Best, Most Impressive Art Deco Football Program Ever

August 20, 2017

Absolutely stunning Art Deco football program from the Yale v. Army game of 1928, a game played at Yale. What makes the program exceptional, however, is the imagery on the cover and inside, and the artists who did the illustrations. Internally there is an image done by John Held Jr. and is titled “The Love Life of a Halfback” (pictured). Held 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”. The cover illustration and a full-page interior illustration was done by Russell Paterson. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patterson also popularized the iconic images of the Jazz Age and essentially created the “lithe, full-breasted, long-legged American girl-goddess.” His illustrations appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair. The subtle use of pastel colors on the cover is as good as it gets. The illustration is titled “To the Victor” and shows a victorious football player surrounded by young adoring female fans of the era. It is one of the ultimate expressions of the Deco era and evokes images and a time that with F. Scott Fitzgerald popularized in the Great Gatsby. One of the most amazing and impressive college football programs ever produced!

Automobiles of the period were also exceptionally stylish as evidenced by the color Stutz advertisement above, from the interior of the program

Macy’s was also the place to buy your flapper garb!

The John Held, Jr. illustration in the program

We have a nice selection of vintage college football programs, including those with Deco themes on our website:

The Mask & Wig Club, University of Pennsylvania

November 15, 2014

The University of Pennsylvania’s  Mask & Wig club is an all-male comedy troupe with a rich history that was founded in 1889. The troupe features music, dancing and comedy and travels around the country to perform. Old Mask & Wig programs are sought after collectibles and feature imaginative covers:



The 1942 Mask & Wig Program


The 1938-1939 Program 

The covers illustration shows Manhattan at the center with Queens identified as “Vast Unexplored Territories” and Brooklyn as “Who Cares?” and was done by Bo Brown. Brown was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and his works appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and The New Yorker.

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McClelland Barclay Artwork

April 1, 2014

Many college football program of yesteryear were illustrated by those with real talent and the Harvard v. Yale Football Program produced in 1927 is no exception.  The nice Jazz Era cover shows leather head football players done by McLelland Barclay.

LH Yale Harvard 1927

Barclay was an American painter and pin-up artist whose works appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cosmopolitan. His images of fashionable women for General Motors’ “Body by Fisher” advertising campaign made Barclay’s work recognizable to virtually every magazine reader in the country. Barclay studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.

We have a nice selection of vintage Harvard-Yale football programs and other collegiate memorabilia on our website:

A New Yorker’s View of the Ivy League

September 1, 2013

Two ivy league football covers of 1983 feature a take on the famous a New Yorker’s view of the world. They are the Yale v. Columbia game and the Harvard v. Cornell program. They feature the mascots for each team including Ben Franklin for Penn and Princeton’s Tiger looking out over the country which is composed of various football conferences.

DSCF8218-001Harvard Yale 1983

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Bernhardt Wall Lithography

April 15, 2013

Bernhardt Wall is an illustrator and lithographer who lived from 1872 to 1956. He was born in Buffalo, New York and also lived in Texas and California. He did many illustrations and etchings of cowboys, Indians and western scenes. He was known as the “Postcard King” as many of his works were done on little cards. The lithography below was done by Wall in 1905 and features a collegiate scene.

bernhald wall

There is a poker game in progress with a collegiate student wearing a Harvard sweater and behind the table are Harvard and Yale pennants.

wall signature

The lithograph sold at auction recently for $150.

bernhard well

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Winslow Williams Artist

December 1, 2012

Winslow Williams was an illustrator of Yale programs in the 1950s. Williams was a graduate of the Yale Art School, class of 1941. A Virginia native, he has a style we really like. His first program was the Yale-Princeton cover seen below. His model for the Yale player kneeling is classmate Phil Crane (’41).

A description of the program cover says that the image was “prepared in oils, the first time such a medium has been used for a football program.” The Harvard-Yale program done in 1953 uses the same style as his original with a brilliant mix of the past looking at and co-mingling with the present.

His artwork for the Princeton-Yale program depicts the Yale trolley. It shows an unusually happy group of fans on their way to an early Yale game with an oversized mustached conductor. The original artwork was an oil painting which measured 26 inches x 34 inches. He spent two months researching costumes of the earlier period.

The Princeton-Yale program from 1952 is in the same style as his earlier works:

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Columbia University Homecoming – Willard Mullin Cover

April 15, 2012

This spectacular cover illustration was done for the Columbia homecoming game played at Baker Field in 1958.

The illustration was done by Willard Mullin a famous sports cartoonist and his nickname was the “Dean of Sports Cartooning”. His works have appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, and Time and Life magazines. He was the creator of the Brooklyn ‘bum’, his cartoon depiction of the Dodger players of that era.

We feature a large selection of college football program on our website:

Ellison Hoover – Art Deco

February 15, 2011

If we had to pick one artist who typified the Art Deco era it would be Ellison Hoover who captured the essence of the period perfectly as seen in the two Princeton programs below.

Ellison Hoover was an American cartoonist of the early 20th Century. He was born in Cleveland and studied at the Cleveland School of Art and the Art Students League. He was a syndicated cartoonist for the New York Herald Tribune. He also worked for the Evening World and Newark Evening News.

Hoover drew the daily strip ‘Mr. and Mrs’ (originally created by Clare Briggs) between 1930 and 1947 for national magazines. The texts were by Art Folwell. He also contributed to Life Magazine, the New Yorker and the Brooklyn Eagle  and worked as a lithographer and painter of landscape scenes. 

Inside the program is one of the most fabulous advertisements for a 1930 Auburn automobile, the Cord. It looks like it comes straight out of a Hollywood movie.

We also see more than a passing resemblance between the cover illustration and the woman pictured in this advertisement for Worumbo Polo clothing:

We have a nice selection of vintage 30’s programs as our website: