Dowd Modern Graphic History Library

Modernist Design and the Children’s Magazine

By c.bosch on May 24, 2017

By the middle of the twentieth century, the notion of American periodical publications aimed at a younger readership was already well established. Early versions of children’s magazines appeared in the States as early as the late 1700s, and by the time Humpty Dumpty was launched by Parent’s Magaz...

Drawing Race in 1930’s Collier’s

By Noah on May 22, 2017

In the 1930’s Collier’s magazine represented a popular, progressive viewpoint on American culture. The magazine published articles by Winston Churchill on the significance of the U.S. constitution in the 20th century, as well as profiles skeptical of the rise of the Nazi party in Germany under Hi...

Helen Dryden: Illustrator and Industrial Designer in the Age of Art Deco

By Cathy on May 17, 2017

In the early twentieth century, the covers of the large publications were beautifully illustrated, and many artists who contributed became household names. The art created for fashion magazines in particular stands out. What had started out as representational drawings of clothing and models morp...

Spring Semester at MGHL

By Andrea Degener on May 16, 2017

This semester, students from D. B. Dowd’s course, Special Topics in Visual Culture: The Illustrated Periodical, visited the Dowd Modern Graphic History Library to engage with a variety of materials from various collections. Throughout the semester, the materials were used in lectures and di...

Putting it back together

By Taylor Yocom on April 14, 2017

As a student worker for the MGHL, I have been cataloging magazine tear sheet illustrations from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive in Shared Shelf, a project funded by the CLIR Grant. The collection I’m currently working on features many illustrations by Frank Craig — made between 1874 and ...

Politically Correct Romance?

By l.sylvander on February 13, 2017

Our romantic and sexual practices are some of the most heavily policed aspects of our social lives (shoutout to Foucault for totally shifting my understanding of social interaction forever). We remember 1950’s America as a socially conservative time, and what better way to control the urges...

Al Parker at Washington University

By Maria Dorfman on January 16, 2017

Al Parker (1906-1985) was one of the most famous magazine illustrators of his age. He was also an alumnus of Washington University. It is hard now to imagine what the University was like in the 1920’s- almost a century ago. Parker writes: At that time there were no credits, degrees or a gra...

Advertising the 19th Century Detachable Collar

By Maria Dorfman on January 3, 2017

A distinguishing characteristic of menswear in the ~1860’s-1920’s was the detachable collar. Collars were naturally more susceptible to dirt and deformation that the rest of the shirt. Detachable collars allowed men to achieve the appearance of neatness and cleanliness, while reducing...

A Very Esquire Christmas

By Andrea Degener on December 23, 2016

Esquire Magazine’s Christmas issue, published in December 1943, contains a wide variety of articles (everything from political to camp) interspersed with foldout pinups by Vargas in addition to numerous photography pieces and advertisements. One of the political pieces in this issue are the...

The Madcap Master Poet of the Improbable

By Maria Dorfman on December 15, 2016

“Madcap master poet of the improbable” was a phrase used by Pat Calhoun to describe the illustrator George Carlson (1887-1962). The words “madcap” and “improbable” refer to Carlson’s frequently nonsensical comic plot lines and illustrations for the Jingle...