Monday, September 27, 2010

THE St. John?

In the early 20th century era of amazing magazine illustrations, this Vogue cover stands out. It's typical art nouveau subject matter of the time, but the treatment is sensitive and gorgeous. It's signed by St. John, and I can't help but figure that this is J. Allen St. John, by any means not typical of him, and likewise his signature.

This was the point in time when J(ames) Allen St. John was turning out mainstream assignments for magazines and advertisers, though four years prior to this cover he had illustrated the book The Face in the Pool, and it would be two years after this cover that Edgar Rice Burroughs would write his first story Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars. I could settle this in my mind if I had access to the St. John bibliography, but I don't. Probably one of you St. John enthusiasts do (Mr. DoorTree?).

Later note: We've heard from Mr. DoorTree, and yes indeed, this cover was created by our esteemed ERBdom chronicler, J. Allen St. John. So sweet, so sweet.

St. John — Vogue — March 18, 1909

4 comments:

ToB said...

That's really, really lovely. I wish art nouveau would see a resurgence.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Likewise. I would also love to see architecture and clothing fashions do a 21st century take on the style.
The key for a resurgence would be to not emulate as much as reinvent.

Mr. Door Tree said...

Thomas,

Yup, thats the St John! This is the only cover for Vogue known to be by St John! This is the only time I have ever seen him use that signature...what a great cover!

Glen Story said...

Fascinating! It's so atypical of the St. John work that I'm familiar with... but it's great!

I love the idea of a twenty-first century art nouveau. One thing that interested me about Mucha's drawings was his ability to apply art nouveau design styling to almost any object. I'm sure it could still be just as adaptable.

Glen