James Montgomery Flagg (American, 1877-1960). Original watercolor on paper depicting Uncle Sam with a banner reading "You Want Me!," 1960. Signed along the lower left. This painting is the last Uncle Sam illustration executed by Flagg before his death. With a signed photograph.
Provenance: Acquired by the present owner from the collection of Gerald E. Czulewicz Sr.
Literature: Gerald E. Czulewicz Sr., "The Foremost Guide to Uncle Sam Collectibles," Plate 325.
James Montgomery Flagg was born in New York in 1877. He fell in love with art at an early age, and by age 15 he was a staff artist for Judge and Life magazines. As his career continued, he became immensely successful as a commercial artist, perfectly blending artistic aptitude with a keen sense of humor. He became a favorite of the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, and frequented Hearstís parties, sketching his guests. He was well known for his illustrations and pin ups, as well as for his serious paintings, which were exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1900. Of all the works from his long and wide-ranging career, Flagg is best known for a series of commissions he did for the U.S. Government, starting in 1917, depicting Uncle Sam. The first of these, the ìI Want Youî poster, is one of the most iconic artworks in U.S. history.
The present artwork, executed in May of 1960, is known to be the final Uncle Sam drawn by Flagg during his lifetime. It depicts a slightly looser drawing of Uncle Sam than most of Flaggís earlier works, but retains the intensity that distinguishes Flaggís depictions of Uncle Sam. The bannerís text reads ìYou Want Me!î and Uncle Sam points to himself, likely an indication of patriotism. It is a fitting end to a series for Flagg, the man who solidified one of Americaís most beloved national symbols.(Watercolor) Sight; Height: 10 1/2 in x width: 7 3/4 in. Framed; Height: 24 1/2 in x width: 21 1/2 in. (Photo) Sight; Height: 9 1/2 in x width: 7 1/2 in. Framed; Height; 18 1/4 in x width: 15 1/4 in.
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