Born in Oslo, Norway in 1893, Johan Bull died in Stowe, Vermont in 1945.
Johan Bull worked as a journalist and illustrator for Norwegian newspapers till he came on a visit to New York in 1925. He had brought a portfolio of his drawings along with the idea of extending the visit. By chance he went to the office of the New Yorker magazine, which had started four months earlier. Harold Ross asked him to go on an assignment to illustrate a sports event. For the next seven years his drawings appeared almost every week in the New Yorker. He was best known for action sports drawings, particularly of events involving horses, He also did feature headings and drawings of the "continuing adventures of Eustace Tilly", the top hatted dandy who appears on the cover of the anniversary issue every year. (Rea Irvin was the original illustrator of Tilly, as well as designing the New Yorker typeface).
Bull also did illustrations for other magazines including Life (old and new), Collier's, Forum, as well as advertising art. He also illustrated several books including Iron Duke by John Tunis and Sunny Hill by Selma Lagerloef.
His commissioned work was mostly pen and ink but he also did landscapes in pastel and watercolor throughout his life.
He never returned to Norway except to visit. However, after Norway was invaded in the spring of 1940, he decided to volunteer his services to the Norwegian Government in exile in England. He served as a journalist and illustrator for the Norwegian Information services from 1941 until 1945 when he got cancer and returned to the US just before the end of the war. When in England he designed several stamps for the Norwegian government, some of which are still in use in Norway.
Submitted by Henrik Bull, the only child of Johan and Sonja Bull.