James Montgomery Flagg

James Montgomery Flagg

The Illustrators:

James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960), American artist, cartoonist, and illustrator, is best remembered for his patriotic posters of World War I and World War II.

Born in Pelham Manor, New York, Flagg began drawing at an early age and was a published illustrator by the age of twelve years. Within a few years he became a regular contributor to humor magazines Life and Judge.

He interrupted his budding career to attend the Art Students League of New York, and in 1898, he continued study in London and Paris.

From 1900 to the 1950s Flagg produced hundreds of story and advertising illustrations, magazine covers, posters, and created countless cartoons and spot illustrations for many publications.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Flagg produced his iconic Army recruitment poster featuring Uncle Sam. Reproduced in the millions and republished on the eve of World War II, it became the best known American poster to date.

Flagg's characteristic ink line drawing is similar to the work of Charles Dana Gibson, who pioneered the technique. Like Gibson, Flagg became a master of bold line illustration.

In his later years, he painted portraits and many versions of his favorite subject, beautiful women.

Many examples of his work can be found today in books and on-line.

U. S. Army recruiting poster, 1917

Judge Magazine Cover,  1914

American Magazine Cover, 1908

Life Magazine Cover, 1912

Harper's Weekly, Theodore Roosevelt, 1914 George Bernard Shaw

James Montgomery Flagg portrait, 1909 story illustration

Flagg, above in 1909, often used himself as a model, inserting his likeness into his story illustrations as in these examples.

Scribners magazine illustration magazine illustration

Check the Golden Age Illustration page for more examples of artwork by James Montgomery Flagg.

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