Nell Brinkley: A Real Girl
Nell Brinkley began her illustration career at age 16 in her hometown outside of Denver Colorado. By age 22 she was working in New York for William Randolph Hearst, and was assigned to cover the murder trial of Harry K. Thaw, the husband of actress Evelyn Thaw. Brinkley's stylized drawing of Evelyn Thaw garnered attention and praise. Within a year, Brinkley's style had become iconic and the new "Brinkley Girl" became the feminine beauty ideal.
Nell Brinkley was admired for both her drawings and her personal style. Although she drew seductive and sexually liberated women, she seemed to live a modest life that didn't garner attention.
Despite the frilly nature of her drawings and the sometimes silly stereotypes of female vanity, Nell Brinkley's characters could be seen engaging in the dialogue of the times. Brinkley's girls were independent and exemplified the "New Woman" who was concerned with suffragism.