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John Emmet Sheridan
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Tomah, Wisc.
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
New York City
Illustrator and commercial artist John Emmett Sheridan is remembered for his sports and collegiate images depicting elegant young men and women in the posters he created for several universities, his covers for national magazines and his commercial advertising art. Sheridan was born in Tomah, Wisconsin in 1877. He attended Georgetown University, where he defrayed his tuition expenses by creating posters advertising athletic teams and illustrations for campus publications and events. Sheridan left Georgetown before graduating to go to work in the New York City advertising department of the men’s clothing retailer Hart, Schaffner & Marx. He also worked for the Bosch Magneto Company and created advertising art for Edison Phonograph and DuPont Automobiles. Sheridan was one of the many artists who supported the war effort during World War I by designing posters. He served on the Executive Committee of the Department of Pictorial Publicity, the group headed by Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) that organized the effort to supply art to several government departments. Sheridan also worked as an art editor for newspapers, first for the Washington Times and later for the San Francisco Chronicle. After his time in San Francisco, Sheridan and his wife moved to Paris for a year where he studied at the Académie Colarossi, before returning to America and settling in New York City. He had an active career as a magazine illustrator, creating 14 covers for The Saturday Evening Post from 1918 to 1939 and many illustrations for Collier’s, the American Magazine and the Ladies’ Home Journal. His college sports posters included works for Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown and Princeton. Sheridan and his wife were active in the social life of the art world; he was a member of the Society of Illustrators and she was on the committee organizing benefit dances sponsored by the Society, including the events in 1929, 1932 and 1934. An active supporter of the Beaux Arts Ball sponsored by the Architectural League of New York, Sheridan helped put on the Ball for several years, including all the events from 1924 through 1930. He was a judge of the Miss America pageant of 1925. As a member of the Artists and Writers Golf Association, he participated in its tournaments in Palm Beach, Florida, including the events in January of 1928 and 1930. As an active member of the Dutch Treat and Players Clubs, he acted in the productions those clubs put on for their members. Sheridan taught at New York’s Cartoonist’s and Illustrator’s School, also known as the School of Visual Arts, from 1945 until 1948. He died in New York’s Roosevelt Hospital in 1948. (TNB 8/2018) Selected bibliography: “John E. Sheridan, Illustrator, Dies.” New York Times, July 5, 1948, p. 16. “John Sheridan,” Saturday Evening Post, May 13, 2015.