Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flapper doodles

This English text book belonged to a teenage girl in 1925, who seemed more interested in art than in her English lessons.

Then again, check out the subtitle of the book (Projects in Expression) and maybe she was doing just as the subtitle suggested. The young artist here is assumed to be Anna Grace Caughron from Manhattan, Kansas. That's the name written at the front and back of the book.

I call these drawings flapper doodles because the women portrayed look like the young girls of that era who were called flappers. The drawings are pretty elegant for doodles, but I'll stick with doodles because obviously the young lady in a long-ago English class was doodling in her book while she should have been paying attention to her lesson. Or maybe she was multitasking.

Her doodles are quite good, actually, and capture pretty accurately the style of the flapper girl of the Roaring Twenties. In case you're wondering what a flapper is, or was, check out the girls in this video. Their parents must have been horrified!

As young Anna Grace could have been only 16 or so in 1925, I doubt she ever got the chance to live the flapper lifestyle, which was out of vogue several years later, and may never have been in vogue in Manhattan, Kansas. I always associated that style with that other Manhattan on the east coast.

But that was the style of the day for young women and it must have fired the imagination of a Midwestern teenage girl struggling through her English and writing lessons. And she wouldn't be the last to create her own projects of expression to exchange classroom drudgery for artistic fantasy.

That long forgotten artwork of hers now lives on within the confines of cyberspace. And I'd like to think that young Anna Grace would have been one flattered flapper-wannabe.

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