Book Cover of "When Hearts are Trumps" by Tom Hall - Belle Époque, Art Nouveau
DISPLAYING: 9" x 12" Print
William H. Bradley (10 July 1868-1962) was an American Art Nouveau illustrator and artist. Nicknamed the "Dean of American Designers", he was the highest paid American artist of the early 20th century. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the age of 12 he obtained a job as a printer for a weekly newspaper. He later left for Chicago, Illinois, where he held a few brief jobs as a wood engraver and typographer before dedicating himself to freelance graphic design. He later worked as a consultant for the American Type Founders and as an editor for Collier's Weekly. He worked briefly with children's books, then for William Randolph Hearst's film division as a set designer. In 1954, Bradley published a memoir of his life, called Bradley: His Chap Book, though only 650 copies were ever published. The same year, he won the AIGA award, the highest honor for graphic designers. He was a prolific artist and designer up until his death at age 94. His artistic style is considered a branch of Art Nouveau, (where he was considered the foremost illustrator and poster designer of this movement) though it draws heavily from the aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Japanese block printing. His work was often compared to that of his English contemporary, Aubrey Beardsley, so much so that some critics dismissed him as simply "The American Beardsley."