DescriptionJames Montgomery Flagg Archive containing thirteen original Flagg illustrations as well as photographs, letters, and articles. This archive contains one of the Flagg's earliest drawings, dated August 9, 1892 (making Flagg just fifteen years old), a pen and ink drawing of a young boy spilling a pitcher and titled "The Pitcher Tragedy."
Some of his later illustrations were suggestive, as evidenced by "Whistle Stop," a 9.75" x 13.25", pencil and watercolor featuring a nude woman crossing the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train which is whistling "Whee-Wheeoo!" Two others, starring his friend Emanuel M. Abrahamson (1897-1956), "Mannie," New York doctor specializing in diabetes and hyperinsulinism and author of "Body, Mind, and Sugar." In two of the more humorous drawings, dated 1949 and 1950 respectively, we find the good doctor placed in an awkward situation with two nude women. Both drawings appear on the front of envelopes reading, "Merry Xmas to Mannie from Monty." The remaining images are also pencil and watercolor drawings of various sizes, many featuring Abrahamson in funny situations, all beautifully sketched and colored.
Also contained are ten photographs, two of which feature Flagg. In the first, a black and white, 8" x 10" Newspictures photograph, Flagg is seen presenting his poster "Appreciate America!" The second, also black and white, 10" x 8", Flagg is unveiling his "Your Forests, Your Fault, Your Loss" to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, seated at a desk, with two other men standing behind with the artist. The remaining photographs are of Dr. Abrahamson himself. In addition, there are nineteen letters, spanning the years 1952 through 1968, the majority of which are to Dr. Abrahamson, regarding his book and/or his work with hyperinsulinism; several newspaper articles; April-May 1976 issue of Modern Maturity featuring an article about Flagg; receipts; and one small book "James Montgomery Flagg: Uncle Sam and Beyond," containing several of his lesser known pieces.
Artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) sold his first piece of art at twelve years old and, by the age of fifteen, was on the staff of both Life and Judge Magazines. He attended six years of art school and traveled to Europe. Upon his return to the United States, he began painting portraits of Hollywood stars for Photoplay Magazine. When the First World War broke out in 1914, Flagg, like many Americans, believed the U. S. should remain neutral, but he was also concerned about the unpreparedness of the country in the event it was pulled into Europe's conflict. When the U. S. finally became involved in 1917, he and his fellow artists established the Division of Pictorial Publicity to provide the U. S. government with requested posters. Flagg would create forty-six posters for this purpose, including his most famous, the 1917 "I Want You For U.S. Army" recruitment poster featuring himself as Uncle Sam. Following the war, Flagg continued his work painting the film stars of Hollywood for Photoplay and making patriotic themed illustrations throughout the Second World War.
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