Jazz Age Illustration Exhibit

A new exhibit has been installed in the Ginkgo Room at Olin Library featuring illustrations from the Jazz Age. The reproductions on display feature illustrators John Held Jr., Henry Raleigh, Nell Brinkley, Georges Lepape, and Władysław Teodor “W.T.” Benda and others. The illustrations are from the Walt Reed Illustration Archive, Charles Craver Collection and Henry Raleigh Collection. The exhibit will remain on view through the end of the semester.


John Held Jr. (1889-1958)

Held was one of the best-known magazine illustrators of the 1920s. He created cheerful art showing his characters dancing, motoring and engaging in fun-filled activities. The drawings defined the flapper era so well that many people are familiar with Held’s work today.

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Undated illustration from an unknown publication

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Life Magazine, November 25, 1926

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Cosmopolitan, 1925

Henry Raleigh (1910-1940)

Raleigh was known as the Gatsby Era Story Illustrator. He created illustrations for many well-known authors for books and magazines, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and H.G. Wells. Raleigh started off as a newspaper artist, but later became widely respected and sought after for his unique and distinct style of illustration.

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Illustration for fiction story Alien Corn

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Illustration for fiction story Forlorn Hope

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Illustration for fiction story Thirty-Day Princess

Nell Brinkley (1886-1944)

Brinkley was commonly referred to as the “Queen of Comics” during her nearly four-decade career working with New York newspapers and magazines. She was the creator of the iconic Brinkley Girl, a stylish character who appeared in her illustrations and became a popular symbol in songs, films and theater.

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American Sunday Twice-Month Magazine, undated

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American Weekly, December 21, 1920

Georges Lepape (1887-1971)

Lepape was a leading fashion illustrator who worked for magazines including Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. The real turning point in his career came when publisher Condé  Nast asked him to work for Vogue for which he designed the cover of the first UK edition.

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House & Garden, March 1928

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Vogue, March 1, 1933

Władysław Teodor “W.T.” Benda (1873-1948)

Benda was an American painter, illustrator, and designer. He illustrator books, short stories, advertising copy, and magazine covers for Collier’s, McCall’s Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Theatre Magazine and many others. Benda’s women were often exotic and mysterious, characteristics themes in 1920s culture and fashion.

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Undated illustration from an unknown publication

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Saturday Evening Post, August 12, 1933

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The Shrine, September 1927


Collections Featured

Charles Craver Collection

Henry Raleigh Collection

Walt Reed Illustration Archive

About the author

Andrea Degener is the Visual Materials Processing Archivist in the department of Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.