John Held, Jr.

John Held, Jr. represented the 20s Flapper Generation. He was younger than the Flagg, Leyendecker, Parrish crowd. Born in 1889, came from Utah with no formal art training. Boyhood friend of Harold Ross. Moved to New York, married and gradually made it.
Flapper Girl was swinging, bouncing, a bit outrageous. Held drew her as long-legged, no chest, skinny, irreverent.
Held was everywhere in the 1920s: ads, comic strips, books, magazines.
He was kicked off a horse in 1925. Ross launched The New Yorker the same year. Started doing a whole new style of linocuts and scratchboard drawings, then started doing maps. Became rich(er).
He and his second wife bought a farm in Weston, CT, then another in Westport. Lost a lot of money in the stock market crash of 1929. Swindled by Swedish “Match King” Ivar Kreuger. In 1913, Kreuger formed a trust to control all aspects of the production of matches in Sweden, and later throughout the world; it eventually became a huge international finance agency. Speculation and fraudulent practices during the 1920s wrecked the trust and led to Kreuger’s suicide. Much of his money was obtained from U.S. backers.
Held had a nervous breakdown and divorced his second wife. Remarried, wrote 10 books. Fell out of style with the Depression and took to breeding and sculpting horses and working with ceramics and iron. Married a third time, then a fourth and moved to a farm in NJ.