Beauties of Yesteryear: The Brinkley Girls

What do Prudence Prim, Flossie, Gloriette, Dimples, Pretty Polly and Sunny Sue have in common? They’re all 1920′s illustrated heroines by artist Nell Brinkley. Brinkley’s artistic career, spanning the 1910s to the 1940s, largely involved her producing action-packed weekly illustrated serials for newspapers like The American Weekly. She also illustrated quite a few advertisements for hair wavers and bob curlers.

Brinkley’s work was influenced by the silent films of her time. Her long legged, curly-haired, mascara-drenched flappers practically narrated every story with their body language, never mind the fluffy type provided below. If you look close enough, a great deal of expression can be found in her subjects’ hands alone. Brinkley’s precise pen work and bold washes of color have perfectly captured the best in 1920′s fashion of that era.

Shawn Saleme

Shawn Saleme is a contributing writer for Visual News. A 4th generation San Franciscan, Shawn has developed an adventurous spirit that has taken him to over 55 countries. His degree in cultural anthropology shapes his perspective and thirst to socially experiment in a rapidly shifting planet. His work has been featured in the Seattle Times, The Globalist and the Daily Mail. Currently he is writing a book about the shared economy. Connect with him @shawnsaleme.

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