The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
J. ALLEN ST. JOHN
Compiled by Bill Hillman
THE WORLDS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
ST. JOHN MOSAIC
St. John Tribute Site
James Allen St. John was born in 1872 - the son of Josephus Allen St. John and artist Susan Hely. His grandparents on his father's side of the family were Levi and Sarah Triphena (Barber) St. John. Levi and his brother, Samuel, had crossed the country by wagon from Vermont, passing through the "Hamlet of Chicago," and with their families became the first white settlers in Rock County, Wisconsin.
St. John is the illustrator of over half of the Burroughs books, starting with THE RETURN OF TARZAN in 1915. During a long life of creative activity (the later years teaching in the Art Institute of Chicago and the American Academy of Art), he did illustrating and designing for a number of newspapers and publishing houses, and over a dozen different magazines. He had studied abroad, mastering virtually all forms of artistic expression, and his paintings have been shown both in this country and in Europe. The artist and his wife had spent quite some time in North Africa, a continent which Mr. Burroughs never visited.
Mr. J. Allen St. John is one of the youngest of American portrait painters whose work has been accorded recognition by the society of American Artists, at whose recent exhibitions he has shown a number of interesting portraits. During the last spring opening he exhibited a notable portrait of his uncle, and the year previous a strikingly original portrait of a young artist, one of his colleagues. Both of these works showed a correctness and freedom of drawing above the ordinary, and a certain nervous quality of coloring and prose that stamped the painter as one willing to depart from the beaten tracks. In fact, his most ambitious and just completed canvas -- a full-length painting of Caroline Miskel Hoyt -- fully justifies the high opinion held of him by those who have followed his career.
Mr. St. John has been under the direct influence of no special teacher, although he hs been a pupil and is now a member of the Art Students' League. He speaks frankly of his ideas on all subjects pertaining to his art. "Portrait painting," he remarked, after speaking of his early exhibits of landscapes, "appeals to me as one of the highest branches of the painter's craft. So commonplace when stiffly and uninterestingly treated, but, on the other hand, presenting infinite possibilities when the idea of making it a work of art holds equal place with that of truthfully rendering the features. For instance, one should look at a portrait as something not merely a likeness or photographic copy of the face alone, but a thing that is the sitter himself, his personality, to the tips of his fingers, the wrinkle of his clothes; and the artist should draw all these in so broad and sympathetic a way that those who do not know the person may yet find pleasure in the counterfeit, the lighting and the harmony of colors. I have painted many portraits of widely different types, striving always for these points, and to-day I am completely fascinated by the exquisite pleasure of studying human nature and transferring it to canvas."
Mr. St. John began his art studies at a very early age. He says, in speaking of his childhood: "My first recollections are my mother's studio, and the eyes of her portraits following me about the place."
His mother's father was Hilliard Hely, an artist of considerable talent, who had spent his student life in Paris under the supervision of the worth masters of those old days of the First Empire. His daughter received her first lessons from him, and later on Mrs. St. John became the teacher of her young son. When he was eight years old Mrs. St. John went to Paris to continue her studies, taking the boy with her. "Even as a child," said Mr. St. John, "I found delight in the society of so-called bohemians my mother gathered around her, and one of my greatest pleasures was to ramble at will through the Louvre, the Luxembourg and the countless quaint and charming corners of the unfashionable parts of the city, so dear to all dreamers. But I unconsciously imitated those with whom I was broght in contact, and began to sketch and paint before I could read and write."
Mr. St. John returned to America after some years of his idle, joyous life, and after going through the usual course of schooling his father took him in hand when he reached the age of sixteen and decided to give him the chance of becoming a good, thrifty merchant. He bought him a partnership with a man of practical experience; but the dreamy boy was ill-adapted to the work and rebelled so vigorously that his father sent him, as a last resource, to his uncle's ranch in the San Joaquin valley of California, with the injunction to regain his health, to ride and to shoot, and to become a cowboy, pure and simple, for a time at least.
The lad's mind was still on the happy days of Paris and his early attempts at sketching, when he was suddenly brought into the picturesque scenery and environment of Southern California. While on a trip to Los Angeles he had the good fortune to fall under the influence of Mr. Eugene Torrey, an accomplished artist and at one time a student in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. This meeting decided the career of the young man. He threw all other prearranged plans to the winds and spent the next three years studying under his artist friend. He traveled with him form place to place, drawing and painting the old Spanish missions and seeking inspiration form the glories of the Yosemite and the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Madre. Dating from this time Mr. St. John has advanced steadily.
*** Please come back often as we update the St. John pages ***
A CHECKLIST OF ERB ILLUSTRATIONS DONE BY ST. JOHN
FOR AN ILLUSTRATED VERSION OF THIS CHECKLIST GO TO:
The Return of Tarzan -1915 - 26 b/w interiors only
The Beasts of Tarzan - 1916 - wrap-around DJ, fp, titles & many b/w interiors
The Son of Tarzan - 1917 - wrap-around DJ, fp, titles & many b/w interiors
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar - 1918 - DJ, title, fp and 8 halftone sepia plates
Jungle Tales of Tarzan - 1919 - DJ, 5 sepia plates and 12 b/w interiors
The Warlord of Mars - 1919 - DJ repeated as sepia fp
Tarzan the Untamed - 1920 - DJ and 9 interior sepia plates
Thuvia, Maid of Mars - 1920 - (Monahan DJ) - 10 interior sepia plates
Tarzan the Terrible - 1921 - DJ and 9 interior sepia plates
The Mucker - 1921 - DJ and 5 interiors
At the Earth's Core - 1922 - DJ and 9 interior sepia plates
The Chessmen of Mars - 1922 - DJ and 8 interior sepia plates
Tarzan and the Golden Lion - 1923 - DJ and 8 interior sepia plates
Pellucidar - 1923 - DJ and 4 interior sepia plates
The Land that Time Forgot - 1924 - DJ and 4 interior sepia plates
Tarzan and the Ant Men - 1924 - Wrap-around DJ repeated as sepia fp
The Cave Girl - 1925 - DJ repeated as sepia fp
The Eternal Lover - 1925 - DJ repeated as sepia fp
The Moon Maid - 1926 - DJ repeated as sepia fp
The Mad King - 1926 - DJ repeated as fp
The Outlaw of Torn - 1927 - DJ only
The Master Mind of Mars - 1928 - DJ, title page and 5 coated interiors
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle - 1928 - DJ, title page and 5 interior sepia plates
The Monster Men - 1929 - DJ and title page
Tarzan and the City of Gold - 1933 - DJ and 5 b/w interiors
Pirates of Venus - 1934 - DJ and 5 b/w interiors
Tarzan and the Lion Man - 1934 - 2 different DJs and 5 b/w interiors
Lost on Venus - 1935 - DJ and 5 b/w interiors
Tarzan and the Leopard Man - 1935 - DJ and 4 b/w interiors
Swords of Mars - 1936 - Wrap-around DJ and 5 b/w interior plates
Tarzan's Quest - 1936 - Wrap-around DJ and 5 b/w interior plates
Savage Pellucidar - 1963 DJ and 6 b/w interiors from Amazing
ERB MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATIONS
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
Blue Book - January 1928
Cover for Part 2 of the serialization
John Carter and the Giant of Mars
Amazing - January 1941
B/W title illos (pages 8 & 9)
B/W "Two people sat in a saddle on the thoat's broad back" (page 25)
The City of Mummies (Pt. 1 of Llana of Gathol)
Amazing - March 1941
B/W "This was no swordsman I faced, but a monstrosity out of Barsoom's Hell!" (page 9)
B/W "Pan Dan Chee unbuckled his sword to lay it at her feet"
Black Pirates of Barsoom (Pt. 2 of Llana of Gathol)
Amazing - June 1941
B/W "I rose stealthily from my couch" (page 8)
B/W "I drew my sword as the Black Prince charged down on me" (page 27)
Yellow Men of Mars (Pt. 3 of Llana of Gathol)
Amazing - August 1941
B/W Title illos (pages 6 & 7)
B/W "Turning, the warrior leaped over the rail to his death" (page 29)
Invisible Men of Mars (Pt. 4 of Llana of Gathol)
Amazing - October 1941
B/W title illos "At first I saw nothing, then her shadowy form materialized" (pages 8 & 9)
B/W "Mars' light gravity made my leap to the rooftop an easy matter" (page 27)
Slaves of the Fish Men (Pt. 1 of Escape on Venus)
Fantastic Adventures - March 1941
B/W "Slowly, cautiously, so as not to awaken the sleeping Earthman, the Venusian's webbed hand reached out" (page 9)
B/W "The hideous little fish-like creature scurried wildly to escape its pursuers" (page 35)
Goddess of Fire (Pt. 2 of Escape on Venus)
Fantastic Adventures - July 1941
Cover - Collaboration with H.W. McCauley who did the "Mac Girl"
B/W "These warriors fought with spears - more deadly than I had imagined" (page 8)
B/W "Bound with ropes, I was led through the strange forest of growing Brokol babies" (page 29)
The Living Dead (Pt. 3 of Escape on Venus)
Fantastic Adventures - November 1941
B/W "Carson and Duare hung helplessly, staring down at the dead warrior" (page 9)
B/W "Duare hurled the anotar into the air" (pages 24 & 25)
War on Venus (Pt. 4 of Escape on Venus)
Fantastic Adventures - March 1942
B/W "What could a lone Earthman do to destroy the tremendous land battleships of Venus?... Although they operated on land, these giant ships fought like an Earth navy." (page 9)
B/W "Carson drove the trident deep into the fellow's breast"
The Return to Pellucidar (Pt. 1 of Savage Pellucidar)
Amazing - February 1942
B/W Title Illos "The earth was hollow, and inside it David Innes and Abner Perry found a strange savage civilization!" "They walked on, oblivious of the creatures lurking behind them." (pages 26 & 27)
B/W "With a mighty heave, he threw his adversary over his shoulder" (page 50)
Men of the Bronze Age (Pt. 2 of Savage Pellucidar)
Amazing - March 1942
B/W Title illos: "It was a weird land indeed to which the runaway balloon bore Dian the Beautiful; to become its people's unvilling goddess" "The thipdar wheeled in the air and made for the balloon with a rush" (pages 74 & 75)
B/W "Dian sat erect with a gasp of fright as the grim masked figure advanced"
Tiger Girl (Pt. 3 of Savage Pellucidar)
Amazing -April 1942
B/W Title illos: "Into the Sea of Nowhere sailed Dian and her captor. No one had ever sailed it before..." "Gamba drew back his bowstring to its utmost... the monster was upon them." (pages 48 & 49)
B/W "With a hoarse scream, Dian's captor tumbled into the depths" (page 68)
Skeleton Men of Jupiter
Amazing - February 1943
B/W Title illos: "From distant Jupiter came a weird band of abductors, the first move in an evil plan for the subjugation of Mars." "With a single bound I had gained the room. There, struggling in the arms of Multis Par, was Dejah Thoris!" (pages 8 & 9)
B/W "To my amazement, the branch coiled about my waist and swung me into the air" (page 40)
ERBzine 0035: The Illustrators
also visit the St. John Tribute in ERBzine
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