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Teaching Dogs New Tricks

John Held, Jr., Teaching old dogs new tricks. Life (Chicago, Ill.), 1926.

The slinky style of the “flapper” was celebrated in the popular press during the 1920s, most notably in cartoons such as this one by John Held, Jr., which appeared in Life magazine in 1926. The “flapper,” according to popular stereotype, wore short, loose dresses, used cosmetics, smoked and drank alcohol in public, and embraced the sexual revolution. This image of the “new woman” both mirrored and exaggerated the popular rejection of the genteel, corseted Victorian feminine ideal, which had developed over time, rather than over night. Cartoons of high-stepping, boot-legging high society quickly lost their appeal after the 1929 stock market crash.

Henry Robinson Luce (American owner, 1898-1967); John Held, Jr. (American painter and illustrator, 1889-1958)

Cultural Context

1926 (publication)

Life was an American magazine published weekly until 1972, as an intermittent "special" until 1978, and as a monthly from 1978 to 2000. During its golden age from 1936 to 1972, Life was a wide-ranging weekly general interest magazine known for the quality of the photography.
It was published for 53 years as a general-interest light entertainmentmagazine, heavy on illustrations, jokes and social commentary.

Teaching old dogs new tricks. Life.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA [repository]

ink on paper (photomechanical lithograph) with hand-applied color (pochoir)

8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches ( (width, each issue)

partOf Life [periodical]

Public Domain

Style Period
Art Deco; Twentieth century

illustrations (layout features); fashion illustration; domestic life; Graphic arts--United States; Charleston (Dance); Visual communication--United States

offset printing; pochoir

Work Type
publications; serials (publications); periodicals; magazines (periodicals); illustrations (layout features)