Monday, November 24, 2014

Tony Sarg Over the Intersection

Illustrator and puppeteer Tony Sarg created crowd scenes of New York that were collected in a 1926 book. The following year he conceived the idea of placing balloons featuring cartoon characters in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, then in its fourth year. The balloons were a popular success and the rest, as they say, is history.

He still could create a good crowd scene. An original illustration by Sarg no doubt created for the Roberts House inn dates approximately from the following year. Here he has rendered a bustling aerial view of a small town intersection with the Roberts House at the top center. Judging from the heights of the two-story buildings he has shown us, he may very well have had to imagine this view from such an elevated vantage point.

Typically, when a piece like this comes along it makes a brief public appearance at auction before disappearing into a private collection for years. This particular piece, though, is on public display, albeit in an unlikely venue. You can see it in New York at the Society of Illustrators. It's hanging in the men's room.

Tony Sarg, Busy intersection in small town, c. 1928
Illustration House, June 25, 2011, Lot 1


Tony Sarg, Busy intersection in small town, c. 1928
On view in the men's room of the Society of Illustrators


Note:  There are, to be sure, millions of blogs out there, but how many of them are classy enough to drag you into the men's room of the Society of Illustrators? Only one, I'll bet. Now is there anyone willing to show me what's on the wall of the ladies' room?

My Thanksgiving blog posts cover the Macy's Parade, Tony Sarg, and some persistent local turkeys that I can't seem to dodge. I've put together a festive assortment of these posts over the years and personally I never tire of them. I don't see why you should.

The Charlie Brown Balloon at MoCCA Fest 2014

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


The 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

The 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Maurice Sendak's Wild Thing Balloon Design

Keith Haring's Figure with Heart Balloon

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Various Wild Turkeys

Peter Arno:  Pilgrim's Progress

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cheers from Muriel Jacobs

It's game day! Cartoonist Muriel Jacobs has made a couple of loose drawings, each featuring an energetic cheerleader. The C apparently is for Cartoonists.

Two cheerleaders by Muriel Jacobs
Muriel Jacobs, "This cheer is for cartoonists."

Muriel Jacobs, Cheerleader

Muriel Jacobs' signature, "Moo Jacobs"

EBay Listing

EBay Item Description


Note:  There's more work by Muriel Jacobs than you might think on the old blog. There is also one more old-fashioned cheerleader with a megaphone, but she's not cheering for cartoonists.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #451

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #451 for November 17, 2014. The drawing is by J. C. Duffy.

"Who cares if our banker is a swine?"


I considered this caption as well:
"Why can't he eat from his own trough?"


November 24, 2014 Update:  The Finalists



Note: You've heard of ballroom dancing? Last week, David Borchart drew an example of boardroom dancing. My caption was just a little out of step. Groove to the results of Contest #450.

J. C. Duffy's cartoons are no stranger to this blog.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

John Held, Jr.: Flapper in Steel

This painted steel cut-out figure of a dancing flapper is no-doubt based on a drawing by John Held, Jr. Over six feet tall, it's a bit of an unusual piece and did not find a buyer last year at Illustration House.

John Held, Jr. (after), Flapper girl dancing 
Illustration House, June 15, 2013, Lot 57


Note:  John Held, Jr. was insanely popular in the 1920's. So why not check out my posts about him?

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Life Magazine: John Held, Jr., Michelangelo of the Flapper

The Most of John Held, Jr. was published in 1972 and a book review appeared in Life magazine. The review identifies the medium seen in yesterday's post as linoleum block prints, which raises the question of whether each print was unique, created solely for the purpose of being reproduced in a magazine, or whether a number of prints were pulled for each image. Joel Sayre's review states these were made exclusively for the New Yorker. Is it possible they could have appeared in College Humor as well?

Life, November 24, 1972, page 20
The book review appears in this issue:
Life, November 24, 1972

Note:  Illustrator John Held, Jr. embodied the spirit of the 1920's. No doubt someone should dedicate an entire blog to him. From me you get just a few odd posts.

The Golden Age by Mr. Door Tree has a beautiful post on John Held, Jr. It's great stuff.
John Held, Jr., "When the Theatre was Fraught with Romance
Anna Held's Milk Bath
Engraved by John Held Jr Who is No Relation"
 The New Yorker, September 20, 1930


I have a few more posts about Life magazine including for some reason the old Life which is not at all the same thing.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Engraved" by John Held, Jr.

"Sexual freedom was a mania and it strikes me only now that for the past fifty years every generation is convinced that it was the pioneer in breaking with Victorian morals. That breakthrough, as an historical fact, occurred in the Garden of Eden."
--"Alistair Cooke's America" (1973)

These four "engravings" by John Held, Jr. are from the estate of H. N. Swanson and were in all likelihood published in Swanson's College Humor magazine. In general, they lampoon the supposed repressed sexuality of a previous generation. Possibly they date from the late 1920's. Held published drawings in a similar woodcut print style in The New Yorker.

Whatever these are, they are not true engravings. They could, of course, be a very nice set of linoleum block prints, but they may indeed be unique creations skillfully executed in the style of Victorian woodcuts. All four were sold on eBay this past March, nicely framed, for just $53--a veritable "sock in the eye!"

John Held, Jr., "The Interrupted Love Scene
A situation as old as the pyramids. But much funnier
Eng. by John Held Jr"

 Original art for College Humor?
John Held, Jr., "The Interrupted Love Scene
A situation as old as the pyramids. But much funnier
Eng. by John Held Jr"
 Original art for College Humor?
John Held, Jr., "The Interrupted Love Scene
A situation as old as the pyramids. But much funnier
Eng. by John Held Jr"
 Original art for College Humor?
John Held, Jr., "There is No Moment Like the One When Your
Hair Comes Tumbling Down
Eng by John Held Jr an old hair Tousler himself"
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "There is No Moment Like the One When Your
Hair Comes Tumbling Down
Eng by John Held Jr an old hair Tousler himself"
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "There is No Moment Like the One When Your
Hair Comes Tumbling Down
Eng by John Held Jr an old hair Tousler himself"
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "'He Who Lays his Head on a Woman's Bosom
Must Beware of a Sock in the Eye'
Eng. by John Held Jr. who is still a boy at heart."
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "'He Who Lays his Head on a Woman's Bosom
Must Beware of a Sock in the Eye'
Eng. by John Held Jr. who is still a boy at heart."
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "'He Who Lays his Head on a Woman's Bosom
Must Beware of a Sock in the Eye'
Eng. by John Held Jr. who is still a boy at heart."
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "Victorian Honeymooners Pretending That
There is No Such Thing as a Bed
Engraved by John Held Jr. that early American humanist"
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "Victorian Honeymooners Pretending That
There is No Such Thing as a Bed
Engraved by John Held Jr. that early American humanist"
 Original art for College Humor?

John Held, Jr., "Victorian Honeymooners Pretending That
There is No Such Thing as a Bed
Engraved by John Held Jr. that early American humanist"
Original art for College Humor?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Original-John-Held-Jr-Framed-Woodcut-Engravings-New-Yorker-College-Humor-Art-/151261701931?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2337e6672b&nma=true&si=UB68sj2DvLx%252F9kdb54zXrlCgzYs%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557






"Alistair Cooke's America," Episode 11 (1973)
The quotation is at 23:34 followed by
a selection from The New Yorker.



Note:  There's more to see here of the work of John Held, Jr.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tales of the Jazz Age

It's hard to tell what's more appealing about this book, the fact that it's a first edition from 1922 by F. Scott Fitzgerald or the incredible dust jacket by John Held, Jr. These two giants of the Jazz Age should add exponential value to this rare and desirable volume when it comes up for sale today at Swann Galleries in New York.

John Held, Jr..  Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) by F. Scott Fitzgerald, First Edition

John Held, Jr..  Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) by F. Scott Fitzgerald, First Edition

Swann Galleries November 18, 2014, Lot 100

Sold!
Hammer Price $5,600


Note:  I have a little bit more on John Held, Jr.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Adventures of Mickey Mouse

The first appearance of Mickey Mouse in book form occurred in 1931. Presumably this was Minnie Mouse's first book appearance as well, and Donald Duck's too. The cover of The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, Book I shows the talented Mickey serenading Minnie with a one-stringed ukelele. Their tongues are far too prominent, but otherwise these are the classic pie-eyed Mickey and Minnie of the 1930's.

Walt Disney Studios, The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, Book I. Philadelphia:  David McKay, 1931



Walt Disney Studios, The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, Book I. Philadelphia:  David McKay, 1931


Swann Galleries, November 18, 2014, Lot 37


November 18, 2014 Update:  Sold!
Hammer Price $4,400


Note:  There are more Disney posts to be enjoyed.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rowland Emett's Solar Power

Rowland Emett's fuel-economy train from 1949 is an open-air affair that apparently relies on the skillful use of mirrors for solar-powered steam propulsion and the concurrent use of umbrellas to protect engineers and passengers from the blazing English sun. It scarcely resembles any train in existence, but nothing is too farfetched for Mr. Emett's imagination. Annals of a Branch Line was a series that ran in Punch. The original artwork is in "The Illustrators 2014" show at the Chris Beetles Gallery.

Rowland Emett, Annals of a Branch Line II--Example of Fuel-Economy System in Operation
Punch,
June 8, 1949, page 623

Chris Beetles Gallery:  "The Illustrators 2014"


Number XI from the same series:
Rowland Emett, Annals of a Branch Line XI--The evening train arrives at Smugglers' Reach
Punch, 
June 15, 1949, page 651


Note:  You can find a bit more herein about Punch cartoons.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Illustrators 2014 at Chris Beetles

The Chris Beetles Gallery is offering its annual outstanding selection of illustration art. As in previous years, the show is accompanied by a lavishly-produced catalogue. The cover illustration is called "Fairy Stories" and is by Helen Jacobs. Not surprisingly, the original art has already been sold. The exhibition and sale opened today and runs through January 3, 2015.

Chris Beetles Gallery:  "The Illustrators:  The British Art of Illustration 1800-2014"

Helen Jacobs, "Fairy Stories"

Chris Beetles Gallery:  "The Illustrators: 2014"

Note:  Perhaps I can interest you in a few other posts about the Chris Beetles Gallery.

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