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W. E. HILL
Though few now remember his name, W. E. (William Ely) Hill (1887-1962) was an enormously popular illustrator during the first half of the twentieth century. He drew for Life and Puck and had his own weekly page of illustrations, titled "Among Us Mortals," in the Sunday New York Tribune. His 1915 drawing for Puck, "My Wife and My Mother-in-law," is perhaps one of the best-known examples of a dual image--it is a drawing that at once depicts a young woman and an old crone, where the young woman's chin serves as the nose of the old woman. Hill also drew the dust jacket art for the first editions of F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise (1920) and Flappers and Philosophers (1920). Bohemians and artists, commuters and theater-goers all found themselves captured (and sometimes caricatured) in drawings of W. E. Hill.
The front cover and the drawing "Criticism" by W. E. Hill in his Among Us Mortals (New York and Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1917)
Franklin P. Adams writes in his preface to Among Us Mortals (1917): "Hill is popular, by which I mean universal, because you think his pictures look like somebody you know, like Eddie, or Marjorie, or Aunt Em. But they don't; they look like you. Or if you prefer, like me. He is popular because he draws the folks everybody knows." The volume showcases W. E. Hill's satirical images of modern Americans, including his take on modern art appreciation.