James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) “Cosmo Hamilton”,
original charcoal drawing on paper, 15” x 11”,
signed and titled lower right, excellent condition
Cosmo Hamilton (29 April 1870 – 14 October 1942)

Artist Biography

James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960)

Born/lived: Pelham Manor, New York/New York City; Charleston, South Carolina; Europe

Known: Illustrator, Comic book and comic strip artist, painter. He painted every subject matter in nearly every medium in a realistic style. Flagg was constantly sketching friends, celebrities and politicians and always surrounded by beautiful models.

Studied: Arts Students League; NY; in London and Parisand England to further his art studies and enrolled at the Herkomer School in Bushey, Hertfordshire an art school founded by Professor Hubert von Herkomer, the art critic who heralded Maxfield Parrish’s work in critical reviews.

Member: Society of Illustrators; Society of Independents; The Players Club; The Dutch Treat Club; and the Lotos Club-where he personally hung his poignant editorial cartoons in the grille room.

Exhibited: National Academy of Design; Art Institute of Chicago; Lotos Club; Society of Illustrators; Society of Independents; Paris Salon; Armory Show of 1913..

Work: At the age of fifteen, he was a staff artist for both Judge and Life magazines, two of the nation¹s most successful periodicals and produced early versions of coffee table books and magazine illustrations of a new world of fashion, styles, and beauty. Books illustrated include An Orchard Princess, Simon the Jester, City People, Brinkley Manor, The Adventures of Kitty Cobb and in 1932 the seminal pin-up work, Virgins in Cellophane. In 1946, his published his autobiography, Roses and Buckshot. The magazines with his works included Colliers, Cosmopolitan, Hearst’s International, Judge Magazine, Liberty, Life, McClures Magazine, Photoplay, Redbook, Saturday Evening Post, The American Weekly, Women¹s Home Companion, and many others. Most of his sitters were generally upper-class society scions and celebrities including: actor John Barrymore and his sister Ethel, cartoonist Ham Fisher, unique humorist Rube Goldberg, and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. However, James Montgomery Flagg remains best known for a single painting, his iconic illustration of Uncle Sam proclaiming, ‘I Want You’ for a US Army Recruiting poster, an image still vivid to a vast majority of Americans. Between the years of 1917-1919, Flagg produced forty-six posters for the United States Government, including the companion watercolor for ‘I Want You,’ entitled Miss Columbia. Flagg’s Uncle Sam image is still used over and over. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s face was substituted for Uncle Sam just after 9/11 when New York City asked for help after the World Trade Center tragedy. The model for Uncle Sam was Monty Flagg himself-a self-portrait.

Publications: In 1946, his published his autobiography, Roses and Buckshot.

Painting Features

Artist First Name James Montgomery
Artist Last Name Flagg
Artist's Dates (1877-1960)
Materials original charcoal drawing on paper
Markings signed and titled lower right
Size 15” x 11”
Price contact gallery
Comments This drawing is nicely framed and in excellent condition. Cosmo Hamilton (April 1870 – October 1942)