The art of Gordon Ertz


November 1926.

After posting a couple of magazine covers by American illustrator Gordon Ertz I thought he deserved a closer look, especially when documentation about his life is lacking; even the Library of Congress only lists his birth year, 1891, while nobody seems to know when he died. (Update: See the comment below by Douglas A. Anderson for biographical details.) Mr TjZ is to thank for this post (thanks!) after identifying one of the Double-Dealer covers as an Ertz. I said in a mail to Joe that I’d not seen Gordon Ertz’s name before, but a consequence of writing these posts for so many years is finding that I have mentioned somebody a decade or more ago then forgotten all about them. Thus it was with Ertz whose cover for The Golden Book first appeared here in 2010.


The Inland Printer was a magazine for the print trade which commissioned covers from illustrators, all of whom seem to have been given free reign. Or they were until the 1920s when the magazine abandoned this kind of frivolity. Most of the available Ertz oeuvre is magazine covers and book illustrations from the 1910s to the 1920s, but his later work includes this map from 1936 intended as a guide for the anglers of North America. The map was designed and annotated by Joe Godfrey Jr, a writer whose subsequent books about fresh-water and salt-water fish were also illustrated by Ertz.





Above and below: Green Wings (1921) was a book of poetry which Ertz illustrated throughout.







An illustration from Echoes (1921), another book of poetry, this time by Donald Robertson. The book contained as many illustrations as Green Wings but the copy at the Internet Archive has suffered from the bane of the illustrated volume, plate theft.



Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Covers for The Double-Dealer
The Golden Book

6 thoughts on “The art of Gordon Ertz”

  1. Cool. I meant to ask about Ertz when I saw the July 1922 DD cover in your previous post which was my favorite.

  2. Born Chicago, 19 February 1891, as Milton Gordon George Ertz, the only child of George Ertz (1857-1935) and Ida Joerndt (1860-1950), who were married in Chicago on 27 May 1886. Both parents were of German heritage. The father is listed in the 1900 US Census as an art dealer; and in the 1910 Census as a Metal laborer for a Metal Company.

    Gordon married Louise Phillips (1892-1980) around 1924. He seems to have spent his entire working life in the Chicago area, though he died in Hillsboro, in central Illinois, on 9 January 1962. He and his wife had no children.

  3. Douglas: Thanks for the biographical information!
    John: “Angling with Ertz” is a column in some alternative universe… I will be on the lookout for those poetry collections by Leeming and Robertson!

    An Olde Satyr of May,

  4. Douglas: Thanks indeed. I’ve added a note to the post. I guessed that he was a resident of Chicago (or Illinois) since The Inland Printer, the poetry books and the fishing map all originated there.

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