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John Fleming Gould Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 19 Feb 2019

Biographical History

John Fleming Gould (1906-1996) was an American painter, illustrator, and art instructor.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Gould studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His illustrations appeared in national publications such as the Saturday Evening Post as well as pulp publications such as Adventure Trails, Dime Detective Magazine, and War Birds, while his fine art pieces -- watercolors and oil paintings -- often portray historical subjects and the Hudson River Valley area.

For more than twenty years, Gould was an art consultant for General Electric Company's Locomotive Division, producing hundreds of illustrations for their corporate publications and advertising. He also taught at Pratt Institute for 22 years. In 1957, he and his wife Mary established the Bethlehem Art Gallery in Cornwall, New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Fleming Gould Papers consists of orginal artwork, illustrations created for General Electric (GE) and for a wide range of pulp magazines, and a few scrapbooks and other items of memorabilia.

Art, original contains pencil sketches by Gould. Most have themes reminiscent of his pulp illustrations, but the largest is a group scene of men and women in fine clothes, evidently at a party. The latter, with its turquoise accents on flowers and one woman's dress, is also the only piece with some color.

General Electric posters contains nearly 200 "Progress Posters" created for the company between 1957 and 1965, for use in schools and colleges. For many years, GE's corporate slogan was "Progress is our Most Important Product." At the end of this series are few other GE posters, two from a series highlighting challenges GE was tackling.

Pulp illustrations form the largest part of the collection, with more than 3000 tear sheets of Gould's illustrations for pulp magazines from the 1920s through the 1940s. In addition to adventure magazines like Adventure Trails, Danger Trail, and Sky Riders, titles represented include crime/detective (All Detective Magazine, Clues, Detective Action), "flying pulps" (Air Adventures, Flying Stories, Wings), mobster stories (Gang World, Underworld Romances), science fiction (Astounding Stories), westerns (Cowboy Stories, Dime Western Magazine), and World War II (Battle Aces, War Birds, War Stories).

Scrapbooks and other memorabilia contains an article from the Miami Herald about Robert Hogan, writer of the Battle Aces series, a few biographical items matted together, and four scrapbooks of Gould's GE and pulp illustration work.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by type or title. Pulp tear sheets are arranged alphabetically by magazine title and, within that, alphabetically by story title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections and cataloged items relating to early pulp magazines, including the Street & Smith Records. Please search our collections for relevant manuscript material, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate issues of pulp magazines and other published items.

Subject Headings


Gould, John Fleming.

Corporate Bodies

General Electric Company.


Adventure stories, American -- Periodicals.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Artists -- United States.
Commercial art.
Detective and mystery stories, American -- Periodicals.
Illustrators -- United States.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American.
Popular culture -- United States.
Popular literature -- United States.
Pulp literature, American -- Illustrations.
Science fiction, American -- Periodicals.
Spy stories -- Periodicals.
Western stories -- Periodicals.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Tear sheets.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Fleming Gould Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Gould, 2019.

Table of Contents

Art, original

General Electric posters

Pulp illustrations

Scrapbooks and other memorabilia