Mr. Harkness Talking
Medium: Ink on illustration board
Dimensions: sheet: 11 × 14 15/16 in. (27.9 × 37.9 cm)
Illustration Citation: Man of the World, from Grim Youth (New York: Vanguard Press,1929)
Credit Line: Special Purchase Fund, 1969
About: Grim Youth is a short story collection written by the illustrator and cartoonist John Held, Jr. The common theme of the stories is the values of youth. In "Man of the World," Held describes the standing lamp at the far right of the picture: "The decorator had never intended that the carefully chosen bridge lamp should be used as a necktie rack. On it hung, perhaps, thirty cravats, only two being fit to be worn . . . ." The figure of Mr. Harkness - a brash young entrepreneur - was a paradigm of the Roaring Twenties.
After studying drawing in Salt Lake City with sculptor Mahonri Young (1877-1957), Held began selling drawings to Life magazine. In 1912, he moved to New York, where his illustrations appeared in that magazine, as well as in Vanity Fair and Judge. Critics recognized his 1920s work as a visual encapsulation of the period.
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