John Held, Jr.: Inventor of the Flapper, Illustrator of the Jazz Age, Native Utahn

Main Library

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  • Life
  • Held

Professor Noel Carmack of Utah State University will present a lecture with visuals on the life and work of John Held, Jr., inventor of the flapper image of the 1920s and one of the original magazine illustrators for Life and The New Yorker. Carmack will bring to life this Jazz Age artist whose urbane, edgy, and humorous illustrations captured, indeed defined, the essence of the Roaring ‘20s.

Held, Jr. was a Salt Lake City native, born in 1889. After attending West High School, Held worked for The Salt Lake Tribune as a cartoonist before heading East in 1912 and making his mark on American culture in New York City.

His post-1930 works are not as well known, but he was versatile enough to earn a living through the Great Depression and beyond. By 1952, the nostalgia market was featuring 1920s designs, and Held's earlier works enjoyed a revival that endures today.

Noel Carmack is considered an expert on John Held, Jr., having published an extensive biographical article for the Utah Historical Quarterly. Carmack has also illustrated and written historical works on other topics.

Carmack was born in Paso Robles, California, in 1967 and grew up on the central coast town of Atascadero. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from Utah State University in 1993 and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting from Utah State University in 1997. He is currently an assistant professor of drawing and painting at Utah State University, CEU Campus in Price, Utah.

Location: Main Library Auditorium

Contact Information: 801-524-8200