Sei sulla pagina 1di 82

THE GOLDEN AGE OF

ttlBOOK ONE

E---

0 T li E T I

o_u

FETISH & BIZA RR E


L:::;::&-*~

0 T li E T 1 o_u

FETISH & BIZARRE

Jar

Soplzislica!ed

collectors o/ !lze
Zlnusual

THE GOLDEN AGE OF

tnBOOK ONE
Text by
Alberto Becattini

GLITTERING
IMAGES
edizio ni

d 'essai

Above: Gil Elvgren, plate from his 1952 Brown & Bigelow calendar. Gag: I'm not shy. I'm just retiring." Brown & Bigelow
Halftltle page: Original cover art by Peter Driben for Whisper magazine. Vol. 5 # 3, November 1951 .
Counter-frontispiece: Pin-up by Joyce Ballantyne, ca. 1958.
Frontispiece: Sunny Side Up. Pin-up by Gil Eivgren. Brown & Bigelow

he cos'e lapin-up art? Prendendo il


tennine alta lettera, dovrebbe far
parte a buon diritto di questo ambitoartistico ogni immagine femminile dipinra (con tecniche c he vanno dal pastello alia
te mpera, dall'acqucrcllo all'olio) concepita
peressereappesa al muro- come un poster,
dunque, o come un calendario. Una pin-up,
per dirsi tale, deve avcre caraueristic he ben
precise: tra queste, Ia particolare postura
della ragazza ritratta, che dovra necessariamente esscrc scnsuale; o gli indumcnti
indossati dalla ragazza, c he do vranno conUibuire (lasciando sapicmemcnte scoperte,
o facendo trasparire, parti "calde" de l s uo
corpo) a "erotizzare" ulterionnente l'immagine. Secondo a lc uni, Ia pin-up "ortodossa"
e quc lla chc csclude Ia presenza dell'elemento maschilc come pure di ogni altro
elemento "estraneo", pred iI igendo uno sfondo bianco c he fa della ragazza l'unica protagonista dell'immagine. Piccole concessioni
al "contesto" possono essere rappresentate,
sc mai, da e lemcnti "funzionali" quali marione tte dalla foggia maschile (che simboleggino il controllo, da parte della pin-up,
sull'uomo-osscrvatore), cagnolini (che, con
illoro agitarsi, possano provocare il sollcvamento delle gonne de lle Ioro padroncine),

oppure oggetti di vario generc (i quali abbiano, se possibile, connotazioni falliche).


Noi non c i sentiamo di csserc cos! categorici, e ritcniamo o u im i esempi di pin-up
art anche le immag ini "contestualizzate"
(accompag nate, cioe, da un background e/o
dalla prescnza di un personaggio maschile),
purche l'ele me nto fc mminile ne resti indiscusso protagonista e conservi il carisma e
Ia sensualita di c ui s i diceva sopra. Rien-

trano dunque- a nostro parere - nell'ortodossla de lle pin-ups anc he queUe immagini chc-una volta estrapola te dal medium
c ui era no state in originedcstinate (lacopertina di un libro, per cscmpio, oppure di un
alboa fumetti)- possanocsscrc tranquillame nte appuntate ad una parctc, magari all'inremo di un'elcgante cornice.
In q ues to volume c i propon iamo di tracciare
un'agi le storia della pin-up art negli Stati
U niti, con un accento particolarc sui suoi
"anni d'oro", idcntificabili con il periodo
c hc va dal 1940 ai primi anni '60. Parlere mo
di riviste, calcndari, paperbacks, c soprattullo ricorde re mo i princ ipali autori che
rive rsaro no gran parte del !oro tale nto in
questo particolarissimo ambito artistico. In
questo nostro viaggio ci accompagneranno
que lle stcsse, bcllissime immagini che hanno fa tto sognare intcrc generazioni, ncl cui
policromo marc - per citare uno dc i nostri
massimi pocti - ci sara sempre dolce il

naufragare.
hat is pin-up art? Literally, a pinup should beagirl painting(done
in such techniques as pastels,
gouache, watercolours , or oils) conceived
to be hung on a wall - like a poster, or a calendar. Yet a pin-up, to deserve this name,
must have precise c haracteristics: these
inc lude the painted girl's posture, which has
necessarily to be sensual; or the clothes the
girl is wearing, which will contribute (by
deliberate!y uncovering o r revealing, thanks
to their transparency, the "ho tter" parts of
her body) to make the image more erotic.

Pin-ups by Enoch Bolles (top) and Earl Moran


(above; Brown & Bigelow).

PIN UP ART 5

BAKE UP
AND

LIVE

George Quintana, September 1937.

Cover featuring Betty Grable from Movie Story Magazine, December 1942.

Model Joan Stevens from the Beauty Parade centerfold, July 1951.

6 ESTHET I QCE

According to some experts, the "orthodox"


pin-up painting has 10 exclude the presence
of a male partner, as well as any other
"alien" elemenL The background has to be
white, thus making the girl the sole protagonist of the picture. Some "functional" props
may be accepted , such as male-shaped
puppets (which symbolize the pin-up's
control over the male observer), puppies
(which often cause their mistresses' skirts
-as well as our blood pressure- to rise),
or certain kinds of objects (which have
evident phallic implications). We would not
be that strict, and think that "contextualized" images (that is, including a background,
and/or the presence ofa male figure) may be
excellent examples of pin-up art, provided
that the girl remains the protagonist of the
picture, keeping her charisma and sensuality intact. Thus, in our opinion, the pin-up
"orthodoxy" may also include those images
which -after being isolated from the medium they had originally been painted for (a
book, or a comic book cover, for instance)
- can easily be hung on a wall, whether framed or not.
The purpose of this book is to give readers
an overview of pin-up art in the United
States, with a focus on its "Golden Years"
(circa 1940 - Early 1960's). We will discuss
magazines, calendars, paperbacks, and most of all - we will remember many of
those talented artists who made this peculiar
genre great. It will be, we hope, a fascinating dream-journey through an ocean of
multi-coloured images. And if our ship
should sink, we will be more than happy 10
drown.

Above left: Pin-up by Ted Withers for an Artist's Sketchbook Calendar. Brown & Bigelow
Above rig ht: Pin-up girl by Harry Ekman, ca.1958. Gag: They tell me l"m a stand-out ...
Left: Peter Driben, cover from Wink, Vol. 8 # 2, October 1952.

u'est-<:e que l'art pin-up? Si l'on


prend cetlC forme d'exprcssion artistique a Ia !cure, toute image de
femme que l'on a peinte scion des techniques qui vom du pastel a Ia gouache, de
l'aquarelle a Ia peinture a l'huile, con~ue
pour etre accrochee au mur - com me l'affiche ou com me Ie calendricr - devrait justement pouvoir cntrer dans ce domaine artistique. Pour qu'on l'appelle ainsi, une pinup, doit possecter des caracteristiques bien
precises: l'aUirude tout a fait particuliere de
la jeune fille sera necessairement scnsue lle,
ou bien les vetements pon~s par celle-ci
contribueront a rendre !'illustration encore
plus ~rotique (en devoilant savarnmant ou
en faisant entrevoir par transparence, Ies
zones "chaudes" de son corps). Selon certains, Ia pin-up "onhodoxe" est celle qui
exclutla presence de I'element masculin, de
meme que tout autre element "~tranger" et
qui privilegie ainsi un fond blanc, faisant de

la jeune fille La seule hcro"ine de J'illustration. Toutefois, des compromis au "contexte" de pcu d'importance peuvent etre represemes par des elements "fonctionnels" tels
que des marionnettes representant des
hommes (qui symbolisent le contr6le, de la
pan de Ia pin-up, sur l'homme-observateur),
ou bien de tout petits chiens (qui, avec leurs
mouvementscontinuels peuventsoulever la
jupe de leur proprictaire), ou encore des
objets hct.Croclites (qui possectent si possible, des connotations phalliques). Quant a
nous, nous ne voulons pas etre aussi catcgoriques, et nous pensons que lcs images "contextualisees" (c'est-a-dirc lcs imagesaccompagnees d'un background el/ou de Ia presence d'un personnage masculin) sont de
tres bons exemples de pin-up pourvu que
l'element feminin rcstc Ie protagonistc inconteste et qu'il conserve Ie charisme et Ia
sensualite dont nous avons deja pari c. Scion
nous, les illustrations qui- une fois extrai-

tes du medium auqucl ellesetaicnt dcstinees


(La couverturc d'un livre, par excmplc, ou
bien un album de BD)- peuvent etre tranquillement accrochees au mur, voire encadrees, rentrent tout a fait dans l'orthodoxie
des pin-ups.
Dans ce volume, nous nous proposons de
presenter une breve histoire de l'illustration
de Ia pin-up aux Et.ats-Unis, en insistant sur
ses "annees de gloire" qui vont de 1940
jusqu'au debut des annees soixante. On
pariera de revues, de calendriers, de paperbacks, et surtout on rappellera lcs principaux auteurs qui employerent une grande
partie de leur talent dans ce domaine anistique. Durant notre voyage, cesontces memes
trCS belles illustrations qui Ont fait rever
d'entieres generations qui nous accompagncrom, dans Ia mer multicolore desquellcs
il no us sera toujours agreable de nous laisser
transporter au gre des vagues.

Pll\'" UP ART 7

Above: Original cover art by Peter Driben for Titter , Vol. 3 # 2, September 1946. Titter was one of Harrison's successful girlie magazines.
Opposite: Cover by Hugh J . Ward for Spicy Adventure Stories (top); cover by Enoch Bolles (?) for Cupid's Capers, October 1933 (bottom).

8 ESTHETIQUE

Sexy Pulps & Girlie Magazines


u intomo al 1877 c he, in Francia,
sulle copcrtine di riviste qual i La
Vie Parisienne, presero ad apparire
con regolarit.A illusl.l'aZioni colorate d.i belle
ragazze in des habille. n principale au tore di
queste immagini in fondo innocenti rna
nonilimeno stimo la nli - soprattutlO per il
pubblico del te mpo - e ra Rapha~l Kirchner. II suo escmpio ve nne seguito da molti
altri taJentosi artisli, tra i quali C. Hc rouard,
George Barbier, Pierre Brissaud e I' "oriundo" Umbcno Brunelleschi (nato a Montemurlo, in Toscana, nel 1879), e si iliffusero
testate quali Le Journal Amusant, Gai-Paris oLe Sourire, che si rifacevano apertame nte al modcllo de La Vie Parisienne.
Rapha~l Kirc hner divenne il vero e p roprio
profeta della nconata pin-up art, e la sua
farna varco l'occano: nel 19 16, !'impresario
teatrale F lorenz Ziegfeld lo incarico di
decorare con Je sue inimitabili illustrazioni
ilfoyer delle celebri Follies di Broadway.
Negli Stati Uniti, i primi esempi di riviste
che riprc ndcvano - pur senza raggiungeme Ia finezza - Ia fo rmula de La Vie
Parisienne, apparvero a ll'iniz io della Prima
Guerra Mondiale. II loro scopo era, almeno
inizialme me, quello di tirar su i I morale dei
soldati al fronte, propone ndo tutta una serie
di panels umoris lici accompagnati da gags
ammiccanti. Captain Billy's Whiz Bang
(fondato da Will iam H. Fawcett, uno de i
nomi piu importanti dell'cditoria statunitense), Jim Jam Jem e il Calgary Eye-Opener
furono alcuni dei titoli piu diffusi. Ma lo
spinto delle rivistc franccsi, e l'aunosfera
libcrtina della Parigi "anni '20" ve nnc ro piu
fede lme nte importati da riviste dai titoli
"gallici" quali Parisian Life, Gay Parisien-

ne, La Paree Stories, Paris Nights, Gay


French Life, French Night Life e French
Scandals. Queste ed altrc magazines come
Snappy,Spicy Stories, Bedtime Stories, Pep,
Gayety o Breezy Stories- part.icolarme ntc
diffuscacavallo tragli anni '20egli anni '30
grazie a cditori quali Frank Munsey e William M. Clayton - sono collcuivamcnte
ide mificate come sexy pulps o girlie pulps.
Laddove i pulps tradizionali veicolavano
letteratura popolare di stampo avvcnturoso
(dal weste rn al mystery, dall'esotico al fantascientifico), i sexy pulps proponevano
racconti in testa a sfondo romantico-erolico, accompagnati da illustrazio ni in bianco
e nero solitamente rcaliz.zate in uno stile

cartoonyche si rifaceva a quello del celebre


John Held,jr. (il quale, peraltro, era stato tra
i primi collaboratori di Snappy). Alcuni
titoli , quali Stolen Sweets o Taule Tales,
includevano anche fotografic di nudi femminili. Nel contcsto della pin-up art, i sexy
pulps ri vesLOno una particolarc importanza:
il loro "pezzo forte" erano infatli le policrome illustrazioni di copcrtina, realizzatea
te mpera, c he ritraevano un unico soggcuo
femminile (solitamente su sfondo bianco,
per farlo risaltare maggiormc nte) in pose
"studiate" permetteme in evidenza le fogge
curvilinee. Un particolare accento veniva
messo sulle gam be (tanlO che qucsLO tipo di
figurazione eancoroggi noto come leg art),
c he apparivano ora nude, ora inguainatc in
que lle calzc di nylon c he per illc ttorc dell'epoca rappresentavano un fortissimo ric hiamo sessuale. Chiari riferime nli feticistici
era no, del resLO, presenti in testate quali Silk
Stocking Fun o High Heel Magazine. Durante gli anni della Grande Depressione,
quelle riviste rappresentarono, con le !oro
invitanti copertinee con le Io ro s toriclle piccanti, un buon dive rs ivo per l'americano
medio, affiillO da quotidiani problemi di 50pravvive nza. Gli cditori, da parte loro, cercavano di venire incontro ai le tLOri o ffrendo
fino a cinque titoli diversi in abbonamento
trimestrale cumulativo per 3,75 dollari corrispondenli alia paga media di tre giomi.
Sulla stessa linea delle riviste appcna citate,
rna con uno specifico riferime nto al mondo
del cinema eai suoi re troscena, si collocavano testate quali Film Fun, Movie 1/umor,
Movie Merry-Go-Round eSaucy Movie Tales. II principale copeninista di sexy pulps
durante gli anni '20 e '30 fu Enoch Bolles, il

PI:\" U P

ART 9

Hugh J . Ward, November 1934.

Artist Unknown, May 1940.

Artist Unknown, July/August 1937.

quale seppe creare- in uno stile volutamente sospeso tra il realistico e il caricalUrale - un modello d i provocante femminilita. carallerizzato da una larga bocca quasi sempre aperta in un sorriso ammiccante e incomiciata cia un rossetto intenso
- e daocchi semichiusi,cclati da un trucco
pcsante. A rincarare Ia dose di erotismo
delle fi gurazioni di Bolles, e finanche a
suggerire che Ia pin-up stesse mimando un
rapporto sessuale, provvedeva poi Ia costante presenza di oggetti piil o meno esplicit.amente fallici (selle, innaffiatoi, ancore,
spade, ecc.). Degni "seguaci" di Bolles furono George Quintana, Ray A. Burley, Earle
K . Bergey e Peter Driben. Di alcuni di loro
avremo modo di riparlare piu oltre.
La prcsenza femm inile fu semprc costante
anche sulle copertine dei pulps "avventurosi", e in alcuni casi si puo parlare a huon
diritto di pin-up art: si vcdano, ad csempio,
leardite, inquietanti figurazionidi Margaret
Brundage per Weird Tales ( 1932-45), le
curvilinee ragazze spaziali ritratte da Earle
Bergey per Litoli fantascientifici quali Startling Stories (c. l939-50) o Captain Future
(1941-45), o ledamsels in distress spogliate
e vinimizzatecla maniaci escienziati pazzi,
ritraue cia William Reusswig, John Newton
Howitt, Charles Blaine, Rafael M. DeSoto
edaltri per Dime Detective Magazine,Dime
Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales, Horror
Stories, Romantic Detective, Private Detective Stories ed altre testate consimili, pubblicate soprauutto dalla Popular Publications e clalla Trojan Publishing. Fu proprio
quest'ultima casa editrice, che aveva Ia s ua
sede a Wilmington, nel Delaware, a lanciare, nell'aprile del 1934, i cosiddetti spicy
pulps, che proponevano racconti ne i quali
l'avventura e Ia suspense procedevano di
pari passo con Ia violenza e l'erotismo.

Fondatoredella Trojan (altrimenti nota come


Culture Publications), fu quell'Harry Doncnfeld (1898-1965) che, tra il 1937 e il
1964, sarebbe stato titolare della DC Comics, Ia casa editrice chc ancor oggi pubblica i comic books di Superman e Batman. II
nome di Doncnfeld, tuttavia, non apparve
mai sulle pubblicazioni della Trojan/Culture: egli si riscrvo il piu "confonevole" ruolo
di silent partner, lasciando che fosse il suo
socio Frank Armer a figurare come cditore
di Spicy Detective, Spicy Western Stories,
Spicy Mystery e Spicy Adventure Swries.
Gli spicy pulps conobbero illoro maggior
fu1gore tra il 1934 e i1 1938, prima che i
censori costringessero Donenfe ld e Armer a
mitigame i comcnuti. Le Storie avventuroso-erotiche (scritte da au tori quali Robert

Leslie Bellem, Henry Kuttner. Hugh Cave,


c persino da quel Robcn E. Howard che
aveva crcato il barbara Conan) vennero ben
sintctiz.zatc graficamcnte nelle copenine a
tempera (che ritracvano di solito belle ragazze discinte, minacciate cia dcmoniache
presenze o cia criminali sadici) realizzate
con pig Iio real istico cia artisti di valore assoluto quali Hugh J . Ward (rispettabile illustratore di riviste "serie" quali Liberty) e
Harry Parkhurst, che anticiparono a tratli il
filone feticistico-bondage in auge a parlire
da1 secondo dopoguerra. Nel gennaio del
1943, semprc pill bcrsagliati dalla ccnsura,
Armere Donenfeld deciscro di trasformare
radicalmente i loropulps, sostituendo l'intestazione Spicy con Ia piu neutra Speed (fino
a chiudcre definitivamente i battcnti nel
1950). L'era degli spicy pulps era fin ita, rna
per fonuna ne era appena iniziata un'altra:
quella delle girlie magazines di Roben
Harrison.
La carricra g iomaJistica di Robert Harrison
ebbe inizio negli anni '20, quando -ancora
adolescente- lavorava presso il quotidiano scandalisticoNew York Graphic. Anche
se dovette accontentarsi di servire da fauorino, negli anni trascorsi al Graphic Harrison imparo un sacco di cose sui giomalismo, e soprattuuo sulle immense potenzialita commerciali della stampa scandalistica.
Nei primi mcsi del 1942, nel suo modesto
bilocale Harrison deue vita-con Ia preziosa assistenza d i Earl Moran, grande "piuore
di donnine"- a un nuovo tipo di pubblicazione, interamente dcdicata allcpin-ups. Le
sue48 pagine, infarcitedi servizi fotografici
in bianco e nero con magnifichc ragazze in
"due pezzi" o lingerie (servizi nei quali lo
stesso Harrison compariva di quando in
quando come "figurante"), giustificavano
appieno il titolo della rivista: Beauty Pa-

10 ESTH ETIQUE

Charles Bla10e, Apnl 1936.


George Quintana, March 1934.

George Quintana, October 1935.

George Quintana (?), April 1933.

rade- Glorifying the American Girl. L'America era enuata in guerra da pochi mcsi,
e-comegitleraaccadutoaJie rivisLC "scollacciate" dcgli anni '10 - i soldati costituirono (almcno all'inizio) una fetta considcrevole dci leuori di Beauty Parade. Per Ie
copertinc - anche per evitare guai con Ia
censura - Harrison penso bene di non
usarc fOlo, rna prefer! continuare Ia tradi.done delle painted covers, e lo fcce assicurandosi prima di tutto i servigi di quell'ottimo
PeLCr Dribcn che, nella seconda melt~ degli
anni '30, avcva abbell itocon le sue tcmpere
lecopertinedi riviste quali Gay Parisienne,

nendo largamente fcdele ai canoni della leg


art per quel cheauienealle posture delle sue
girls, Driben prcsc a rcalizzare tutta una
ser iedi magnilici ritratti femmi nili,e via via
che Harrison aggiungeva nuovi tiLOl i al suo
cornet- con Tiller ( 1944), Eyeful ( 1944),
Wink (1945), Whisper ( l941) eFlirt( 1948),
tutti pubblicati con cadenza bimestrale Dribcn prcndeva a dipingcmc le copcrtine,
affiancato - piu o meno sahuariamente da Moran (chc si firmava Steffa, essendo
sot to contratto con Brown & Bigelow) e dal
bravo Billy DeVorss (aulOre, scmpre negli
anni '40, anche di molti calendari e poster
per Brown & Bigelow). Nonostante Harrison potesse contarc (sin dal 1951) su una
modclla d'eccezione come Betty Page, le
sue girlie rrUJgazines non rcssero il confron-

to con il patinato, coloratissimo Playboy di


Hugh Hefner, e dovcttero capitolare alia
melt~ degli anni '50. Harrison, comunque,
aveva un asso nella manica: nel diccmbre
del 1952 aveva inauguralO una nuova LCstata, Ia scandalistica Confidential. La rivista,
chc rapprescntava per molti versi Ia "cattiva
coscienza" dcii'Amcricadi Eiscnhowcr,parti
con una tiratura di 250.000 copie per arrivarca vcndcme finoaquattro milioni a numero, c Harrison divenne un vero c proprio personaggio, per quanto "scomodo". Soprannominato "The King of Leer" (leueralmcnLC
"il rc della sbirciata", rna evidentc l'assonanza con "K ing Lear". lo shakespcariano
re Lear), l'cditore viaggiava a bordo di una
lussuosa Cadillac bianca, frcqucntava i ritrovi piu in, e vcniva regolarmente invitato

High /lee/ Magazine, Movie 1/wn()r, Silk


Stocking Stories eSpicy Stories. Lasciandosi aJie spaJie Ia stiliu..azione (alia lunga un
po' sLCrcotipata) di Enoch Bolles, rna rima-

r~olErt

~ 35~

George Quintana(?), July 1937.

Peter Driben, December 1937.

October,

l93S

IUEE1

Artist Unknown, October 1937.

P I N UP ART 11

sliltlE;lilES
25*

.JUNE

1933

IilES

sliiii.E;IAES
25*

AUGUST

1933

Exoticism on some covers from Tattle Tales, a spicy pulp magazine of the Thirties. Illustrations by Artist(s) Unknown.

ai talk shows televisi vi. Almcno fino aHa


fine dcgli anni '50, allorchC le protcste di
colora i quali si scmivano danneggiati dalle
malevole "chiacchiere" di Confidential (in
primo luogo, molti attori hollywoodiani),
non costrinsero Harrison prima a fare aLto di
contrizione e a cambiare radicalmente l'impostazione della ri vista, ed in fine ad abbandonare il campo cditoriale.

twasaround 1877 that,onthecoversof


such French magazines as La Vie Parisienne, stancd to regularly appear colour illustrations of scantily-dressed beautiful girls. The main author of these basically

innocent yet exciting (especially at that time)


images was Raphael K irchncr. His example
was followed by scveraJ other taJented artists, like C. Hcrouard, George Barbier,
Pierre Brissaud, and by one ItaJian artist,
Umbcno Brunelleschi (who had moved to
Paris from native Montcmurlo, Tuscany,
where he had been born in 1879). Other
titles started to appear, includi ng LeJournal
Amusant, Gai-Paris or Le Sourire, which
were directly inspired to La Vie Parisienne.
Kirchner became the real prophet of the
newborn pin-up art, and his fame reached
New York , w here Broadway impresario
R orenz Ziegfcld asked him ( 19 I 6) to decorate the haJis of his Follies with his inimitable illustrations.
In the United States, early examples of
magazines which imported the Vie Parisienne formula (without reaching iL<; classy
levels) appearcd during WW I. InitiaJiy, they
were designed to cheer up soldiers by offering them a whole collection of spicy cartoons. Captain Billy's Whiz Bang (founded
by William H. Fawcett, one of the most
important US publishers),JimJemJam and
the Calgary Eye-Opener were among the
best-known titles. Yet the spirit which animated the French magazines, and Lhe libertine atmosphere of Paris in the Twenties,
.were more fail.hfull y represented in such
"Gallic" titles as Parisian Life, Gay Pari-

or "girlie pulps". Whereas traditionaJ pulps


published popular adventurous literature
(ranging from western to mystery, from
exoticism to science-fiction), sexy pulps
contained erotic-romantic text stories, accompanied by black-and-white illustrations
which were usually drawn in a canoony
style reminiscent of John Held's (in fact,
H eld himself had been one of the nrst contributing artists). Some titles, like S10len
Sweets or Taule Tales, also included nude
girl photos.
Within pin-up~ sexy pulps are very important, on account of their cover iiJustrations. Done in oils or watercolours,lhese ponrayed one female subject (whose

sienne,La Paree Stories. Paris Nights, Gay


French Life, Fren ch Night Life, and French
Scandals. These and olhcr magazines such
as Snappy, Spicy Stories, Bedtime Stories,
Pep , Gayety or Breezy Stories - which

Cover from Tattle Tales. July 1933.

12 EST HE T l QUE

were extremely popular between the 1920's


and 1930's, lhanks to such publ ishers as
Frank Munsey and William M. Claytonwere collectively identified as "sexy pulps"

Cover from Tattle Tales, March 1934.

Famous history and literature women characters on cover. Artist(s) Unknown, Bedtime Stories, July, October and May 1933.

bright colours slOOd out against the white


background), in suc h poses that emphasized
the girl's curves. Legs were depicted with
particular attention (which explains the "leg
art" term used to refer to this kind of illustration), both when they were naked, and when
they were enwrapped in those nylon stockings which represented a strong sexual
lure for the reader. Clear fetishistic references were also prescm in such titles as Silk
Stocking Fun or 1/igh //eel Magazine.
During the Great Depression years, those
magazines represented, with tl1e ir alluring
covers and their spicy stories, a good distraction for the average American, plagued

.JUNE

DUBARRY

1933

Cover from Bedtime Stories, June 1933.

with daily survival problems. The publishers obviously tried to favour their readers
by offering them cumulative subscriptions:
in 1935, a three-month sub to five different
titles costS 3.75 - corresponding 10 over
three days' wages. On the same Line of the
above-mentioned titles, yet with specific
reference to the cinema and its backstage
stories, were such magazines as Film Fun,
Movie Humor, Movie Merry-Go-Round and

Saucy Movie Tales .


The main sexy pulp cover artist during the
1920's and 1930's was Enoch Bolles. He
was able tocreate- usinga stylewhich was
partly realistic, and partly ludicrous - a
prototype of provoking femininity, c haral:terized with a large mouth - usually
wide open in a tempting smile, and framed
by a deep-red lipstick - as well as with
half<losed eyes, concealed by a heavy makeup. The erotic impact o f Bolles's pictures, as
well as the impression that the girl was mimimg a sex act, was e nhanced by the constant presence of objects which were more
or less explicitly phallic (saddles, wateringcan~. anchors, swords, etc.). Among the
better followers of Bolles's style there were
George Quintana, Ray A. Burley, Earle K.
Bergey, and Peter Dribcn. We will Later
discuss some of them in detail.
Painted girls were always present on the
covers of adventure pulps, too, so that in
some cases those paintings can be considered excellent examples of pin-up arL See,
for example, Margaret Brundage's disquictmgly sexy covers for Weird Tales (193245).thr 'pace girls painted by Earle Bergey
for Startlmg Stories (c.l939-50) or Captain
Future (1941-45), or the damsels in distress
stripped and tonured by maniacs or mad

scientists and painted by William Rcusswig, John Newton Howiu, Charles Blaine,
Rafael M. DeSoto and many others for such
titles as Dime Detective Magazine, Dime

Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales, 1/orror


Stories, Romantic Detective, and Private
Detective Stories, which were mostly published by PopuLar Publications and Trojan
Publishing. The latter publisher, located in
Wilmington, Delaware, launched (April,
1934) Lhe so-called "spicy pulps", which
contained stories which paired up adventure
and suspense with violence and eroticism.
The founder of Trojan (a.k.a. Culture Publications) was Harry Donenfeld (1898-1965),
the man who was at the head of DC Comics

Cover from Bedtime Stories, Feb. 1934.

PIN UP ART 13

HAVANA NIGHTS
bl<oa~

THE BREAST STROKE


bi(A)Co...!l

Cover by Earle K. Bergey, January 1934.

Bathing beauty. Cover from Stolen Sweets, October 1933.

(ofSupennan and Baunan fame) from 1937


until 1964. YeL. Donenfeld's name never
appeared in the Trojan/Culture magazines,
as he preferred to act as a silent partner,
leaving Frank Armer the official role of
publisher of Spicy Detective, Spicy Western
Stories, Spicy Mystery, and Spicy Adventure Stories. The spicy pulps were particularly popular between 1934 and 1938, before
censorship forced Donenfeld and Armer to
tone down their contents. The spirit of the
adventure-erotic sLOries printed inside the
magazines(written by suchauthorsasRobert
Leslie Bellem, Henry Kuttner, Hugh Cave,
and even by Conan crealOr Robert E. Howard) was well synthesized in their painted
covers (which usually depicted half-naked
girls threatened by demons or sadistic cri -

14 ESTHETIQUE

minals), done in a strong realistic style by


such great artists as Hugh J. Ward (a "respectable" illustrator of slick magazines I ike
Liberty} and Harry Parkhurst, who anticipated the feti shistic-bondage genre, widely
popular after WW2. In January, 1943, the
slings and arrows of censorship convinced
Anner and Donenfeld to radically transfonn
their pulps, and they replaced the Spicy logo
with the tamer Speed. By 1950, even the
Speed line had come to an end. The spicy
pulp era was over, yet another had just
begun, thanks to Robert Harrison's girlie
magazines.
Harrison's career began in the earl y 1920's,
when - still in his teens - he worked for
the scandal newspaper New York Graphic.
Even though he was only employed as a

copy boy, Harrison learned a lot of things


about journalism while at the Graphic, as
well as about the great commercial potentialities of scandal. In Early 1942, in his
two-room nat, aided by famed girl painter
Earl Moran, Harrison gave Life to a brand
new kind of magazine, totally devoted to
pin-ups. Its 48 pages, chock-fulJ of blackand-white pholOs of girls wearing bikinis or
lingerie (with Harrison himself appearing
as a "figurant", w hen necessary), certainly
justified the magazine's tiLle-Beauty Parade- Glorifying the American Girl. America had been at war for a few months, and
- as it had happened w ith the early girlie
magazines of the 19 10's - soldiers were
(for a few years, at least) Beauty Parade's
most faith ful readers. To avoid troubles
with censorship, H arrison thought well not
to usc photos on the covers, thus continuing
the painted cover tradi tion. As his main
cover artisl, he managed to hire Peter Dribcn , who had previously embellished such
sexy pulps as Gay Parisienne, 1/iglz Heel
Magazine, Movie Stories, Silk Stocking Stories and Spicy Stories. Putting aside the
stylized approach he had inherited from
Enoch Bolles (which had, in the long run,
looked a bit stereotyped), yet remaining
basically true to the canonsof"legart" as far
as his girls' postures were concerned, Driben pa.i nted a whole collection of wonderful
female portraits, and as Harrison added new
titles to his line of magazines- with Tiller
(1944), Eyeful {1944), Wink {1945), Whisper (I 94 7) and Flirt (1948). aU of them
published bi-monthly - Driben painted
covers for them too, occasionally replaced
by Moran (who signed himself with his
middle name Steffa a<; he was working under exclusive contract for Brown & Bige-

Cover by Margaret Brundage, Sept. 1935.

low) or by Billy DeVorss (who also painted


many girlie calendars and posters for Brown
& Bigelow during Lhc 1940's). E vcn Lhough
Harrison could count (from 1951 onwards)
on an exceptional model named Beuy Page,
his girlie magazines were not able to face
Lhe competition of Hugh Hefner's Playboy,
and had to fold by Lhe Mid-1950's. Harrison,
however, had an ace up his sleeve: in December. 1952, he had started publishing yet
anolhertitle,ascandal magazinecalled Confidential- Uncensored and Off the Record
{later, Lhe subtitle was changed to Tells the
Facts and Names the Names). Delving as it
did into Lhe darker side of Eisenhower's
America, Confidential started out wilh a
printrun of250.000 copies. selling over four
million at its peak. Harrison himself became
a very popular (if "dangerous") character:
"The King of Leer" (a<> he was nicknamed)
drove around the Big Apple in a white
Cadillac. ever-present at all Lhe in-spots,
and often appearing on TV talk s hows. This
lasted until Lhe late 1950's, when a chorus of
remonstrations against Confidential's nasty
gossip (Hollywood actors being its favourite victims) urged Harrison to make amends
and to radically change Lhe magazine's
contents, and later to abandon Lhe publishing field for keeps.

e fut vers 1877 qu'en France, commencercnt 1'1 paraitre rcgulicrement


des illus trations en couleurdebelles
jeunes filles en deshabille sur les couverturcs de revues telles que La Vie Parisienne.
Rapha~l J(jrchncr a cte le principal auteur
de ccs images qui, bien qu'assez innocentes,
etaient tout de meme excitantes. surtout
pour le publicdeceneepoque-la Sonexemple fut sui vi par beaucoup d'autrcs artistes

Too

Mueh
Temptation
By

Gerard Ravel

Unsigned cover, probably by Enoch Bolles, from Gay Parisienne, January 1937.

tres Lalen tueux. parmi lesquels C. Herouard,


George Barbier, Pierre Brissaud et l'italien
Umberto Brunelleschi (ne a Montcmurlo,
en Toscane, en 1879). C'est ainsi que naquirent Le Journal Amusant, Gai-Paris, ou Le
Sourire qui imitaient ouvertement le modele de La Vie Parisienne. Raphael Kirchner
devint veritablement le prophete de l'art
pin-up qui venait de naitre et sa celebrite
franchitl'oc&ln: en 1916, I'impresario Lhcatral Florenz Ziegfeld lui demanda de ctecorer avccses illustrations inimitables lefoyer
des celebres Follies de Broadway.
Aux Etats-Unis, les premiers exemples de
revues qui reprenaient Ia formule de La Vie
Parisienne, sans toutefois egaler sa finesse,
apparurent lors de Ia Premiere Guerre
Mondiale. Au toul debut, leur objectif etail

de remonter le moral aux soldaL'> du front et


elles proposaienl une scrie de panels humoristiques accompagnes de gags allusifs.
Captain Billy's Whiz Bang (fondc par William H. Fawcell, l'un des noms lcs plus importanLS du monde de l'Cdilion aux EtatsUnis). Jim Jam Jem el le Calgary EyeOpener furem quelques-uns des titres de
magazines les plus celebres. Mais l'esprit
des revues fran~aises, de mcmc que I'atmosphere libertine du Paris des "annees 20",
furem importes fidclcmcnt par des revues
aux Litrcs "gaulois" Leis que Parisian Life,
Gay Parisienne, La Paree Stories, Paris
Nights, Gay Fren ch Life, French Night Life
el French Scandals. Ccs revues et d'autres
magazines comme Snappy, Spicy Stories,
Bedtime Stories, Pep, Gayety ou Breezy

PI - UP ART 15

Three covers by Earle K. Bergey from Gay Broadway (Summer 1935, Fall1937) and La Paree Stories (May 1934) pulp magazines.

Stories - particulierement repandus, durant Ia periode aUant des annees 20 aux


annees 30, grace a des editeurs comme
Frank Munsey et William M. Clayton sont collectivement identifies commc des
sexy pulps ou des girlie pulps. La ou les
pulps traditionnels vehiculaient une lilterature populaire d'aventures (du western au
polar, de l'cxotisme aIa science-fiction), les
sexy pulps proposaient des recits d'inspiration romantique et erotique, avec des illustrations en no ir et blanc, realisecs habituellement dans un style cartoonyqui s'inspirait
de celui du celebre John Held, jr. Ce demier
avait d'ailleurs ete l'un des premiers collaborateurs de Snappy. Quelques revues, telles que Stolen Sweets ou Tattle Tales, con-

tenaient aussi des photos de nus feminins.


Dans le contexte de l'art pin-up, Jes sexy
pulps acquirent une importance considerable: les illustrations multicolores des couvertures, realisees a Ia gouache, etaient
excellentes. Sur ces couvertures, il n'y avail
qu'unseul sujet feminin (generalement peint
sur fond blanc pour mieux le fa ire ressortir)
dont les poses, savarnment etudiees, soulignaientle gal be de leur corps. On mettai ties
jambes en relief, si bien que ce genre d'illustration est encore connu de nos jours sous
le nom de leg art; on montrait celles-ci
tanti'>t nues, tanti'>t moulees dans ces bas
nylon qui representaient pour le lecteur de
cett.e epoque-la un tres fort appel sexuel. II
y avait, du reste, dans lcs noms memes des

revues telles que Silk Stocking Fun ou High


Heel Magazine, de claires references fet.ichistes. Pendant les annees de Ia Grande
Depression, avec leurs couvertures invitantes et le urs his toires osees, ces revues furent
une bonne distraction pour l'americain
moyen, afflige par ses problemes quotidiens de survie. De leur c6te, les editeurs
cherchaient a faire des prix a leurs lecteurs
et leur offraient jusqu'a cinq revues d.ifferentes dans un abonnement trimestriel
cumulatif pour 3,75 dollars- cette somme
correspondait a Ia paye moyenne de trois
jours de travail. Des revues comme Film
Fun, Movie Humor, Movie Merry-GoRound et Saucy Movie Tales, ayant comme
reference specifique le monde du cinema ct

llltC1!~1-IIR

Three covers by Enoch Bolles from Spicy Strories (December 1937, December 1936) and Gay Parisienne (February 1935) magazines.

16 EST H E T I Q u E

Nude covers by Charles Blaine from Saucy Movie Tales (Dec.1935, March 1935, Sept. 1936).

ses coulisses, se pla~aient dans Ia meme


lign~ que les revues cities ci-dessus. Le
principal i Uustrateur de couvertures de sexy
pulps, pendantles anntes 20 et30, fut Enoch
Bolles. Ce demier sut cr~r - dans un style
Ami-chemin entre le realisme etla caricature- un modele de femme provocante caracterise par une bouche genereuse- presque toujours entrouvcrte dans un sourire
aiJusif et soulignee par un rouge a levrcs
intense - et par des yeux A demi-fermcs,
recouverts d'un maquillage trcs accentue.
Dans les illustrations de Bolles, Ia presence
d'objets plus ou moins explicitement phalliques (des selles, des arrosoirs, des ancres,
des epres etc ..) accentuait Ia dose d'crotisme, suggerant meme que Ia pin-up etait en

train de mimer un rapport sexuel. George


Quintana, Ray A. Burley, Earle K. Bergey
etPeterDriben furentdedignes "emules" de
Bolles. Nous aurons, par Ia suite, !'occasion
de parter de certains d'entre eux.
La presence feminine futtoujours constante
sur les couvertures des pulps d'aventures, et
dans certains cas on peut justement parler de
pin-up art. n suffit de regarder, par excmple, les illustrations audacieuses et inquietantes de Margaret Brundage pour Weird
Ta/es(l932-45), 1esjeunes filles de l'espace
aux courbes genereuses dessinees par Earle
Bergey pour des revues de science-fiction
telles que Startling Stories (c.l939-50) et
Captain Future ( 1941-45), o u que les damsels in distress devetues et victimes de

maniaques ou de savants fous dessintes par


William Reusswig, John Newton Howitt.
Charles Blaine, Rafael M . DeSoto et d'autres pour Dime Detective Magazine, Dime
Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales, Horror
Stories,Romantic Detective,Private Detective Stories et d'autres revues semb1ables,
publiees surtout par Ia Popular Publications
et Ia Trojan Publishjng. Ce fut justement
cette derruere maison d'Mition dont le siege
etajt a Wilmington, dans le Delaware, qui
Ian~. en avril 1934,les spicy pulps. Ces revues offraient des recits dans lesquels !'aventure et le suspense accompagnaient Ia
violence et l'erotisme. Le fondateur de Ia
Trojan (connue aussi com me Culture Publications) fut Harry Donenfeld ( 1898-1965),

"Phallic symbols": covers from R991 Humor (Dec. 1937, Feb. 1938) by G. Quintana, and from Film Fun (June 1931) by E. Bolles.

PIN UP ART 17

Peter Driben, April 1955 (Vol. 14 # 2).

B. Page on cover, Aug. 1953 (Vol. 10 # 1).

Peter Driben, Oct. 1954 (Vol. 10 # 2).

ce meme Harry Donenfeld qui futle t.itulaire


de Ia DC Comics de 193 7 a 1964, la maison
d'edit.ion qui public encore de nos jours les
comic books de Superman et de Batman.
Jamais pourtantle nom de Doncnfeld n'apparut sur les publications de 1a Trojan/Culture: il sc rescrva lc ro le plus "confortablc"
de silent partner, e tlaissa que son associe
Frank Armer figure comme Cditeurde Spicy
Detective, Spicy Western Stories, Spicy Mystery et Spicy Adventure Stories. Les spicy
pu/psconnurentl'apogeede leur glo irecntre
les annecs 1934 et 1938, avant que lcs
censcurs obligcm Doncnfeld et Armer a
mitiger leur contcnu. Lcs his to ires eroticoaventurcuses, &:rites par des auteurs comme Robert Leslie Bellem, Heruy Kuttner,
Hugh Cave, et par ce meme Robert E.
Howard qui avait crcc le barbare Conan,

furem savamment synthetisees et peintes a


Ia gouache sur les couverturcs ou !'on presentait de belles jeunes fiUes, a demi-vetues, menacecs par des presences demoniaqucs ou par des criminels sadiques. Ces
iUustrations,empreintesderealismc,ontete
dessinecs par des artistes d'une indeniable
valeur, commc Hugh J. Ward (respectable
iUustrateur de revues "serieuses'' te lle que
Liberty)et Harry Parkhurst qui anticiperent,
par moments, le ftlon fetichiste-bondage en
vogue a partir du demier apres-guerre. En
janvier 1943, Armer et Doncnfcld, toujours
plus harccles par Ia censure, decidcrent de
transformer radicalemcnt leur pulps: ils
changerent Ia parole Spicy avec Speed qui
ctait plus neutre; puis ils tinirent par tout
Iiquidcr en 1950. L'ere des spicy pulps etait
revolue, mais hcureuscment, uneautre vcnait

de commencer: celle des girlies magazines


de Robert Harrison.
Au debut des annees 20, Robert Harrison
commen~a une carriere de joumalistc, alors
qu'il n'etait qu'adolescent. II travaillait dans
un quolidien a scandales: New York Graphic. Meme s'il avait du se contenter d'un
paste subalteme de gar~on de courses durant les annees passees au Graphic, il y
apprit enormement sur le journalis me, surtout sur les innombrables capacites commerciales de Ia Presse a scandales. Durant
les premiers mois de l'annee 1942, dans son
modeste deux-pieces, Harrison lit naltreavec 1a collaboration de Earl Moran, grand
"peintre de filles"- un nouveau genre de
publication, entierementconsacreeaux pinups. Ses 48 pages, couvertes de reportages
photo en noir et blanc avec de magnifiques

l5<

HOW CHORUS

......

OIRLI ARI MADE

" Ktw......

---.
MAOUINI

Billy DeVorss, Dec. 1947 (Vol. 1 # 1 ).

18 E ST H E T I

QC E

Peter Driben, Sept. 1948 (Vol. 2 # 3).

Billy DeVorss, July 1949 (Vol. 5 # 6).

Peter Driben, cover from TiNer, Vol. 9 # 5, April 1953.

poupees en maillms de bain "deux-pieces"


ou en lingerie justifmient totalementle Litre
meme de Ia revue: Beauty Parade-Glorifying 1he American Girl. Harrison apparaissait d'a.illeurs dans ces reportages comme
"figurant". L'Amerique venait de rentrer en
gucrredepuispeu,lessoldats(tout du moins
au debut) reprcsentcrent une bonne tranche
des lecteurs de Beauty Parade, com me cela
etail deja arrive pour les revues "osecs" des
annees 10. Pour les couvertures, Harrison
eutla bonne idee de ne pas utiliser de photos; il prefera continuer Ia tradition des
painled covers, pour eviter aussi d'eventuels ennuis avec Ia censure. II s'assura les
services de I'excellent Peter Dri ben qui avail,
pendant Ia deuxieme moit.ie des annees 30,
egaye avec ses gouaches les couvertures de
revues com me: Gay Parisienne, lligh Heel
Magazine, Movie Humor,SilkSwcking Stories et Spicy Stories. Dribcn abandonna les
illustrations stylisees d'Enoch Bolles qui, a
Ia longue, apparurent un peu stereotypCcs,
mais, tout en restant fidele aux canons de Ia
leg ar1 pour Ia position de scs girls, il realisa
toute unc seric de magnifiques portraits
fcminins. Au fur eta mesure que Harrison
ajoutait de nouveaux titres de revues a son
camet-avec Titter (1944), Eyeful (1944),
Wink( l 945), Whisper(l941)etFlirt (1948),
qui sorta.icnttous les deux mois, Driben en
illustrait les couvcrturcs - aide, plus ou

Peter Driben, cover from Eyeful, Vol. 2 # 6, March 1946.

moins rcgulicrement - par Moran (qui


Steffa, puisqu'il ctait sous contrat
avec Brown & Bigelow) et par le trcs talentue ux Billy De Vorss (auteur de nombreux
calcndriers et affiches pour Brown & Bigelow, toujours dans les annecs 40). Bien que
Harrison put compter, a partir de 1951, sur
un modele d'except.ion comme Beuy Page,
sigr~ait

Steffa (Earl Moran), March 1948 (Vol. 1 # 2).

ses girlie magazines furent ecrases par le


Playboy aux brillantes couleurs, en papier
couche d'Hugh Hefner, et its durem capiwler vers le milieu des annees 50. Mais,
Harrison avail encore de nombreux atouts
dans son jeu: en deccmbre 1952, il ir~augura
une nouvelle revue a scandales, Confidential. Ce magazine, qui representait, sous
bien des aspects, Ia "mauvaise conscience"
de I'Amerique d'Eiscnhower, debuta avec
un t.irage de 250.000 exemplaires pour arriver a en vendre jusqu'a quatre millions par
numero. Harrison devint un veritable personnage, memes' it etait plut.6t"derangeant".
Sumomme "The King of Leer" (dontla traduction litterale est "le Roi du Regard en
coulisse" mais dont I'assonance avec "King
Lear", Je roi shakespearien, est evidente),
l'editeur voyageait a bord d'une Juxueuse
Cadillac blanche; il frequentaitles lieux de
rencontre les plus chics et on l'invitait regulierementdans les talk shows televises. Cela
dura au moins jusqu'a Ia fin des annees 50.
Les protestations de ceux qui se sentaient
leses par les "medisances" malveillantes de
Confidential (tout d'abord, de nombreux
acteurs d'Hollywood) obligerent Harrison,
dans un premier moment, a se repentir publiquement puis a changer radicalement Ia
ligne directrice de sa revue et enfm a a bandonner !'e dition.

PI N

UP ART 19

A1argaretBrundage
Covers for Weird Tales pulp magazine

20 E S T H E T I Q U E

.e1t
. ,. . ...u.
W
'
~-:.::~

---ale.r
t

<! WOLF GIRL

li

IO ~ ~[lf N

/'-...

'

',,

)
.,.

.. , .. ,

,,

, . .

~ t .( 111 1 I ... U tt

t s t I t Ill

u-...Jeird

"Talef
.~

../:_.; .

--

~
.
~\
.
.

;":

,
..l

--..

'

..

...-

. 1'

....
..
\ ...
.

'

PI:\ C p

ART 21

22 E S T H E T I Q t; E

Above: Covers from Weird Tales: September 1938, September 1933, March 1936, September 1937, January 1936, and November 1936.
Opposite: Covers from Weird Tales: January 1934, June 1933, November 1934, and September 1934.
Page 20: Cover from Weird Tales, November 1937.
Page 21 : Covers from Weird Tales: August 1938, October 1933, November 1935, Nov. 1933, March 1938, January 1938, October 1932,
June 1938, and October 1937. Margaret Brundage did 67 covers in all for Weird Tales, the well-known pulp magazine, from 1932 to 1945.
Weird Tales is copyright e Weird Tales, l td

PIN UP ART 23

Harry J. Parkhurst
Hugh J. Ward
John Newton Howitt .. .
Covers for
Spicy Detective Stories, Spicy Mystery Stories,
Horror Stories, Terror Tales,
and other pulp magazines

24 E S T H E T I Q C E

P I :\ li P A R T 25

26

EST H E T I Q U E

Above. Torture and sadism on pulp magazine covers by: Charles Blaine, New Mystery Adventures, December 1935; Wilham Reusswig, Dime
Detect1ve Magazine, September 1933; William F. Soare, Horror Stones, June/July 1937; Jerome Rozen, Private Detective Stories, June 1940;
Harry J. Parkhurst, Spicy Mystery Stories, October 1937; Rafael M. DeSoto, Ten Detective A ces, June 1936.
Opposite: Six covers by John Newton Howitt from Horror Stories (July 1935), Dime Detective Magazine (March 1934), Terror Tales (October
1935), Horror Stories (August/September 1937, September 1935), and Terror Tales (January 1935); and three covers by John Drew from
Horror Stories (Feb./March 1937), Terror Tales (Nov./Dec. 1937), and Horror Stories (March 1940).
Page 24: Harry J . Parkhurst, cover from Spicy Detective Stories, May 1935.
Page 25: H.J. Ward, covers from Spicy Mystery Stories (August 1935, June 1935, and May 1936) and Spicy Detective Stories (Dec. 1934).
Dime Detective Magazine, Horror Stories, and Terror Tales are copyright e Argosy Commumcations Inc.
Private Detective Stories is copyright e Trojan Publications
Spicy Detective Stories, Spicy Mystery Stories. and Spicy Adventure Stories are copyright e Culture Publications

PI

~-

C P A RT

27

Enoch Bolles
Covers for Film Fun and other magazines

28 E S T H E T I Q U E

JANUARY

F11N

e Good O!de
xmas Sheer /

J \.lly

f)

c;OEC IAl CJ\NOID


..:AMEQl\ FEl\'fUQES

"\HE TlE
-t'\-\A 1' ~U tvDS /

P I N U P ART 29

FOorr:o~

TOOT'S SWIET

30 E S T li E T I Q C E

iHOUGHT/

..,,. ,

1!1:16

.ti n

g o~

I a,.

GAY

0~

MACAI.INE

Above : Covers from Gay Book Magazine (July 1936, Spring 1934) and Breezy Stories (February 1937, April1937, and June 1936).
Opposite: Covers from Film Fun: April 1939, March 1934, December 1935, June 1938, March 1933, June 1935, December 1937, February
1936, and February 1935.
Page 28: Cover from Film Fun, December 1933.
Page 29: Covers from Film Fun: November 1937, January 1937, October 1937, and July (year unknown).

PIK

U P ART 31

Peter Driben
Covers for Beauty Parade
and other Harrison girlie magazines

32 E S T H E T I Q C E

BEAUTY
PARADE

BEAUTY

PARADE

FARMER'S NAUGHTY
DAUGHTER

JULY
25~

P I N U P AR T 33

BEAUTY
PARADE
'"f..ht World's loueliest Girls

34 E S T H E T I Q

uE

au.
254

GALS WEAR
THE PANTS!

BEAUTY
PARADE

MODELS PI N-Ul'S

BEAUn
PARAD

PIN

U P AR T

35

EAUTY
IUDE

__-

7?-~

., """'Cirto .........

~- ..
.,; ....,.,_._

.; .......,

.; .._111111111 ...

Page 32: Cover from Beauty Parade. Vol. 13 # 5, November 1954.


Page 33: Covers from Beauty Parade: December 1955 (Vol. 14 # 6), August 1955 (Vol. 14 # 4; o riginally created for the July 1949 issue),
March 1951 (Vol. 10 # 1), and July 1951 (Vol. 10 # 3).
Page 34: Covers from Beauty Parade: August 1948 (Vol. 14 # 5), June 1949 (Vol. 8 # 2). January 1953 (Vol. 11 # 6), and November 1953
(Vol. 12 # 5; originally painted for the August 1949 issuA of Flirt).
Page 35 : Covers from Beauty Parade: December 1946 (Vol. 5 # 6), October 1947 (Vol. 6 # 4), March 1953 (Vol. 12 # 1), May 1947 (Vol. 6 #
2), August 1947 (Vol. 6 # 3), Apri11948 (Vol. 7 # 1), December 1947 (Vol. 6 # 5), August 1946 (Vol. 5 # 4). and June 1948 (Vol. 7 # 2).

36 E S T H E T I Q U E

H IH

25C

Above: Covers from Rirt February 1953 (Vol. 6 # 1), August 1951 (Vol. 4 # 4), April1953 (Vol. 6 # 2), August 1949 (Vol. 2 # 4), and February
1955 (Vol. 8 # 1).
Opposite top: Covers from Beauty Parade: March 1952 (Vol. 11 # 1) and March 1955 (Vol. 14 # 1).
Opposite bottom: Covers from Whisper. March 1949 (Vol. 2 # 6), November 1948 (Vol. 2 # 4), and May 1948 (Vol. 2 # 1).

P J N UP ART 3 7

Above: Pin-up girl by Gil Elvgren. Brown & Bigelow


Opposite: Mutoscope cards by Rolf Armstrong (top) and Earl Moran (bottom). Brown & Bigelow

38 E S T H E T I Q U E

Brown & Bigelow,


the Pin-up Factory
ulla sponda sinistra del M ississippi.
nella parte s ud-orientale del Minnesota, sorge St. Paul, capitale di quello
stato fin dal 1858. Nata net 1820 come
insediamento di commerc ianti di pelli, e
oggi (insieme con Ia "gemella" Minneapolis) un notevole centro indus triale ed un
importante me rcato granario, di bovini e
suini. Ma per alme no mezzo secolo, SL Paul
c stata anc he (ed e questo che a noi piu
interessa) il maggior centro di produzione
della pin-up art "made in USA": risale infatti at 1903 Ia pubblicazione, da parte di
Brown & Bigelow, di un girlie calendar
abbellito da un dipinto di Angelo Asti intitolato Colette. Sta di fauo che Brown &
Bigelo w e il no me della primae piu importante casa produttrice di cale ndari del moodo, ehe ancor oggi ha Ia sua scde su Plato
Boulevard, nella c itta del Minnesota. Quel
primo calendario a soggetto femminile e il
suo succcsso commerciale (ne furono vendute o ltre un milione e mezzo di copie)
aprirono Ia strada alia produzione in serie di
girlie calendars e - d i conseguenza - alia
creazione di uno staff di artisti specializzati
nella realizzazione di irnmagini sempre piu
ammiccanti e sensuali. Pur continuando a
realizzarc calendari di ogni gene rc. Brown
& Bigelow pensarono bene di dedicare una
considerevole "fetta" della loro produzio ne
aile "donnine dipinte". trasformandosi per
mo lti versi in una vera e propria "fabbrica
delle pin-ups".

La superiorita di Brown & Bige low ne l


senore dei pin-up calendars e de lla pin-up
art in gencralc, fu dete rminata dalla loro
abilita ne ll'assicurarsi quasi tutti i miglio ri
artisti de l scllo re, anche e soprauutto "rubandoli" alia concorrenza con alle ua nti
propostc finanzia rie. Durante gli anni '20 e
'30, Rolf Armstro ng ( 1889-1960) fu Ia ve ra

"punta di diamante" di Brown & Bigelow.


Ex pug ileeskipper di fama. Armstrong. c he
si era forma to artisticarnente a l Chicago Art
Institute. c roo una scrie infinita di delicate
immagini, quasi tutte rcali7.zatc con coIori a
pastcllo c basate su mode lle piuuosto che su
foto. Era, forsc, proprio quest'ultimo aspetto a fare Ia diffe renza tra le pin-ups d i
Armstrong e quclle di altri artisti s uoi contcmporanei, a rcndcrlc piu vivc e "calde",
sia quando assumevano aueggiamcnti sofisticati esognanti, s iaallo rchCsi mostravano
biric hine e giocose. Arm trong fu fo rse il
primo a conciliare Ia pin-up art con l'arte
"scria". c reando opere che avrebbcro fauo
Ia loro bella figura suiIa parcte di un negozio
d i barbiere come su quella di un musco.
Fino ai primi anni '40, i princ ipali clienti di
Brown & Bigelow (come pure di altri editori specializzati nella produz io nedi calendari) furono le irnprcsccommcrciali e-limitatarncnte at periodo bcllico - i soldati. I
calendari con pin-ups, c he potevano avere
un'unic a illustrazione, oppure sci, o dodici
(una per ogni mese de ll'anno) venivano
starnpati lasciando. tra lapin- upe ledate de l
calendario, lo spazio per Ia starnpigliatura
del nome de lle varie diue, c he avrcbbcro poi
curato la distribuzione de i ca.lendari ai propri clienti e dipendenti, come "omaggio di
fine anno" oppure a fini pubblic itari. I calendari coo pin-ups avevano, di conseguenza, una diffusio ne assai ampia, per c ui Ia
nudita (pur se mediata dalla riproduzione

PI N

U P ART 39

Zoe M ozert portraying movie star Jane


Russell for The Outlawmovie poster (1946),
reproduced above.

artistica) era general mente evit.at.a. Furono


gli anni '20 e '30 a vcdere Ia maggior diffusione di figure nude sui pin-up calendars,
anche sc l'ambientazione "esotico-onirica"
contribuiva non poco a farprendere a quelle
figurazioni le dovute dist.anzc dalla vita di
tutti i giomi. Con l'avvento della Scconda
Guerra Mondiale, le pin-ups di Brown &
Bigelow tomarono, pcrcosi dire, alia rcallA:
i raga1.zi aJ frome avevano bisogno di qualcosa che ricordassc loro i lati piu piacevoli
di quella quotidianita cui erano st.ati strappati, e le "girLf dipime" di Brown & Bigelow - con i loro modi un po' infantili e le
Ioro gam be lOmite, con i Ioro aueggiamenti apparentemente sprovvcduti e le loro boc-

che camosc - facevano delloro meg Iio per


surrogare, in questa loro ambiguita di fon do, ora Ia sorella, ora l'amica sinccra, ora Ia
girl-friend, ora il non meglio identificato
"oggeuo del desiderio" del private a stclle e
striscc.
Fu proprio durante il pcriodo bcllico chc
Brown & Bigelow - soprauuuo in ragione
della crcsccnte richicst.a di pin-ups da parte
delle Fort-e Arrnate - diversificarono Ia
propria produzione "riciclando" le immagini dei calendari o crcandone di nuove per
altri formati c altri media. Le "donnine
dipintc" targate B&B apparvero su manifesti, scrie di mini-poster, canoline (denominate mutoscope cards) ouenibili da distri-

Draw1ng by M11ton Candf from Male Ca// wart1me stnp, Apn14th, 1943.

10 E S T H E T I Q

uE

e M11ton Caniff

butori automatici al prezz.o di cinque cents


ciascuna, e ancora su scatole di fiammiferi,
portasigareuc e pcrsino bretclle (per uomo,
natural mente). La popolarita delle pin-ups
em talc, chc sulle fusolicre di molti acrci da
combattimento artisti non profcssionisti
presero a dipingere donn inc copiandole dai
calendari di Brown & Bigelow, oppurc dai
paginoni di Esquire [vcdi il sccondo volume], inaugurando cosl un scuorc "pcriferico" della pin-up art passato aJ Ia storia con Ia
denominazione nose art (dove con "nose" si
intendeva, appunto, Ia fusolicra dell'aerco).
Sc, poi, accadeva che un pillllp artist di
chiara fama venissc arruolato, lc Forzc
Arrnatc amcricane non si lasciavano ccrto
sfuggirc l'occasione di aggiungcre ai suoi
doveri militari it compito d i rallegrare le
truppc con le sue titillanti illustrazioni: e
quanto accadde, per escmpio, ad Earl MacPherson (n. 1911 ), che dopo aver rcalizzato
per Brown & Bigelow due Artist's Sketch
Pad Calendars ncl 1940 e 194 1, vennc reclut.ato in Marina cd ebbc modo di dccorare
con lesuepin-ups posti di guardia cd alloggi
per gli ufficiali.
Net 1941, Esquire aveva inaugurato Ia
vcndita per posta c aJ deLLaglio di pin-up
calendars, aprcndosi le pone dj un mcrcato
fmo ad allora incsplorato, net qualc ben
presto si gcttarono a capofitto anche Brown
& Bigelow, che contrapposcro aile statuarie
girls di Albeno Vargas le figurazioni piu
"sbarazzine" rna non meno scnsuali create
cfaj loro artist.i. Durante gli anni '40 e '50, 1a
company di SL Paul poteva contare su nomi
di assoluto valore quali Earl Moran. Gil
Elvgrcn, ~ Mozen, Ted Withers, K.O.
Munson, Freeman Elliot. AI Buell, Jules
Erbit, Fritz Willis e altri ancora. Ma furono

Nose art. Drawing by Milton Can iff from a Male Call strip (June 17th, 1945), and his heroine on the "nose of a B-25.

soprattutiO i primi tre a "lasciare il segno"


nella s10ria della pin-up art.
Earl Steffa Moran era nato 1'8 dicembre
1893 a Plaine, neli'Iowa, e ancora adolescentc si era dedicato all'illustrazionc segucndo Ia lezione di Charles Dana Gibson,
James Montgomery F lagg e Coles Phillips.
Dopo aver studiato presso il Chicago Art
Institute c 1'Art Students League di New
York, lavoro come aiuto-tipografo c poi
come discgna10re di moda. Nel 1934 entro
in forza allafactory di Brown & Bigelow,
sostituendo progrcssivamente Rolf Armstrong come !oro principale pin-up artist.
Trc anni dopo Moran aveva un s uo studio a
Manhattan, dove l'artista creo i suoi piu bei
dipinti a pastcllo ispirandosi con le sinuosita di magnifiche modelle, tra le quali si distinscro anche lc giovani e non ancora famose
Marilyn Monroe e Jayne Mansfield. Moran
realizzo anche illustrazioni pubblicitarie per
Scars, Roebuck & Co., copcrtine per riviste
quali Life c Beauty Parade (di quest'ultima,
come si e vista, era anche co-ediiOre) e
poster cinematografici (come quello per
Something/or the Boys, 1944). Dopo Ia fine
del sodaliziocon Brown & Bigelow (1958),
Moran dipinse nudi femminili per committenti privati fino a circadueanni prima della
sua morte, che avvenne il 17 gcnnaio 1984
a Santa Monica, in California.
L'amore per Ia pittura e per i colori nacque
mol10 pres10 nel grande Gillette A. Elvgren
( 1915-1980), forse anche perc he suo padre
era proprietario di un grande negozio di
vernici a SL Paul, nel Minnesota. Dopo aver
studiaiO alia American Academy of Fine
Arts, Elvgrcn si era occupato soprattutiO di
illustrazione pubblicitaria lavorando a Chicago nella studio di Haddon Sundblom
(famoso autore dei manifesti della CocaCola) insieme con altri artisti del calibro di
AI Buell, Andrew Loomis e Harry Ekman,
prima di dedicarsi alia pin-up art realizzando, fin dagli anni '30, calendari, poster e
car10line per Ia Louis F. Dow Co. di SL

Joseph, Missouri,e poi (dal l945)perBrown


& Bige low. Le sue bellissime girls erano
dipinte in uno stile "morbido", talvolta finanche "etereo", che certo risentiva della
lezionedi Sundblom ed aveva aspetti comuni con quello usa to da Peter Driben perle copertine di Beauty Paradee delle altre riviste
di Robert Harrison. Memorabili furono
anche le pin-ups che Elvgren tratteggio per
diverse campagne pubblicitarie della CocaCola. Tolte, forse, le sue primissime prove,
Elvgren fu l'unico, tra i pin-up artists di
Brown & Bigelow, a mantenere livelli di
assoluta eccellenza in tutti i suoi dipinti, e
soprattutiO a creare delle figurazioni che
ancora oggi, a quasi cinquant'anni di distanza, non appaiono affatiO datate. CondotiO ad
una morte prematura dalla sua passione per

Gil Elvgren, 1954. e The Coca-Cola Co.

le bevande alcoliche, Elvgren estato considcraiO per anni una sorta di "Vargas dei
poveri", rna oggi, per fortuna, si comincia a
render giustizia al suo incredibile taleniO, e
le sue opere hanna raggiunto quotazioni da
capogiro.
Fu nei primi anni '30 che Alice Adelaide
Moser (nata il 4 luglio 1907 a Colorado
Springs, nel Colorado) decise di cambiare il
suo nome nel piu evocativo ~ MozerL
Iniziata ai segreti dell'illustrazioneda Thornton Oakley, allievo del grande N.C. Wyeth,
Ia Mozert lavoro per qualche tempo come
vetrinista a Philadephia prima di realizzare,
intorno al 1933, i suoi primi pastelli a soggetiO fcmminile. Fino al 1940, le sue illustrazioni ornarono le copertine di riviste
quali Romantic Movie Stories, True Confessions e Screen Book, nonc he di sexy pulps
quali Paris Nights, e nel 1938 !'American
Weeklydi William Randolph Hearstpubblico dodici suoi dipinti. La Mozert realizzo
pure moltissime illustrazioni pubblicitarie
per committenti quali Irresistible Perfume,
Dr. Pepper e Kool Cigarettes. Intomo aJ
1941 , ~ invio alcuni suoi dipinti di nudi
femminili a David Smart, ediiOre di Esquire, che se ne most.rO entusiasta e ne compro
una dozzina, anche se per qualche motivo
non li pubblico mai. Subito dopo, Orion
Winford, dircttore artistico per Brown &
Bigelow, offri alia Mozert un contralto in
esclusiva a condizioni molto favorcvoli, e
l'artista accettO di buon grado. II suo primo
"nudo di donna" per B&B, Sweet Dreams,
fu il piu vendutodallacompagniadi SL Paul
nel 1943. Le delicate pin-ups a poi[ della
Mozertcontinuarono ad apparire peri tipi di
Brown & Bigelow fino alia meta degli anni
'60 (quando per ognuna di esse ricevcva tra
i 4000 e i 5000 dollari), rna l'artista ebbe
modo di distinguersi anche in altri settori
dcll'illustrazione: memorabile fu soprattutto il manifesto da lei realizzato per il film
The Outlaw (II mio corpo ti scaldera, 1943),
raffigurante Ia "bomba sexy" Jane Russell.

PIN UP ART 41

Andrew Loomis. Underwater Fantasy. Plate from Figure Drawing for A/lit's Worth Walter T. Foster art book.

42 E S T H E T I Q C E

Nonostante pane delle sue opere riscnta di


una certa lcziosita chc ccrtamcntc ne attenua (almena per quanto riguarda il pubblico
maschile) l'impauo "epidenn ico", occorre
riconoscere che Ia Mozert, scomparsa ne l
1993, fu una delle poche artiste del gentil
sesso (le altre f urono Joyce Balla ntyne, Ruth
Deckard e Pearl Frush) a sopravvivere agevolmente - fone di una preparazione tccnica di tutto rispetto e di una notevolissima
sensibilit.a espressiva- in un settoreartistico pensato per i maseru e (almeno numericamente) dominato dai maschi.
Lo "stile B&B" ebbc - come si accennava
prima-diversi seguaci ed imitatori, inparticolare nel settorc dei calendari. II maggiore concorrentc di Brown & Bigelow fu La
Shaw-Barton Company d i Coshocton, nell'Ohio (peraltro fondata da loro ex dirigenti), che nel 194 I pubblico un celebre calendario a immagine unica intitolato Going
Places, il cui autore era quel MacPherson
che Brown & Bigelow avevano avuto souo
contralto per tre anni. All'inizio del 1946,
congedatosi dalla Marina degli Stati Uniti,
MacPherson riprese a dipingerc calendari
nel suo idiosincratico stile da "quademo
degli schizzi" (che venne imitato in partico1are dal suo ex assistente T.N. Thompson),
e fu proprio Ia Shaw-Barton a pubblicarli,
fino al 1957. Occorre anche ricordare che
MacPherson c l'autorc dell'unico libro
"didau.ico" mai uscito sulla pin-up art ,
pubblicato nel I 954 da Walter T. Foster
nella sua celebre collana ed intitolato Pinup Art: How to Draw and Paint Beautiful
Girls. Un'altra cditrice, Ia Kemper-Thomas
Company di Cincinnati, pure neii'Ohio,
produssc moltissimi pin-up calendars tra

Pin-up artist Earl Moran in his studio.


gli anni '40 e i prim i anni '60, affidandoli ad
artisti d i talento quali Arthur Sarnoff (n.
1912) e Bill Randall (n. 19 11). Un altro
editore, A. Fox, si specializzo- a cavallo
tra gli anni '50 e '60- nella produzione di
pin-up calendars le cui immagini mettevano scm pre in panicolare evidenza le mutan
dine delle girls: tra i !oro au tori spiccavano
Jay ScottPike{n. 1924), un artista spccializzato ne l ritrarre soggeui femm inili anche
peri comic books (dovesi occup(>, tra l'altro,
di "tarzanicli" quali Lorna the J ungle Girl e

}ann of the Jungle), Art Frahm e il non


meglio identificato Slattery.
Nessunodei suddetti editori, tuttavia, arrivo
mai a minacciare piu di tanto la supremazia
di Brown & Bigelow. L'unico, vero, temibilissimorivalcdc llafactorydi SL Paul fu una
bella rivista di grande fonnatochc per molti
amanti della pin-up art rappresento(e ancor
oggi rapprescnta) un veroe proprio "scrigno
deltesoro": stiarno parlando, natural mente,
di Esquire .

Nude painting by Earl Moran.

P I .t\ U P A R T 43

Good girl art by RoH Armstrong, ca 1949.

44 E S T H E T I Q C E

e> Brown & Bigelow

Gil Elvgren with Marlene Reilly, one of his models, in 1951.

n the left bank of the Mississippi,


in South-eastern Minnesota, there lies SLPaul, the capital city of
that state since 1858. Founded in 1820 by
skin traders, St. Paul is today (together with
its "twin," Minneapolis) a great industrial
and agricultural centre. Yet, for at least half
a century, St.Paul was also the main source
of US pin-up art. In fact, the first US girlie
calendar was issued in 1903 by Brown &
Bigelow, embellished by a painting by
Angelo Asti entitled Coleue. Brown &
Bigelow is the name of the ft.rst and largest
calendar company in the world, which is
still going full steam ahead today, in its
PlatO Boulevard plant in St.Paul. That ft.rs t
girlie calendar, and its commercial success
(over 1,500,000 copies were sold) inaugurated a massive production of calendars
feawring sexy girl paintings, which ofcourse needed a specialized staff of artists.
Though it continued to publish any kind of
calendars, Brown & Bigelow decided to
devote a considerable deal of its production
to painted girls, thus becoming a veritable
"pin-up factory".
Brown & Bigelow's superiority in the pinup calendar field (as well as in the pin-up art
field as a whole) was largely a consequence
of its abilily in hiring all the best artists,
whom it offered alluring wages. During the

Roxanne, a pin-up girl by Gil Elvgren. Brown & Bigelow

1920's and 1930's, Rolf Armstrong ( 18891960) was B&B's top artist. A fonnerboxer
and champion yachstman who had studied
at the Chicago Art Institute, Armstrong
created a whole series of delicate images,
most of which done in pastels after live
models rather than photOs - which was
probably why they were so lively and "hot",
both when their attitude appeared sophisticated and dreamy, and when they looked
playful and misc hievous. Armstrong was
perhaps the first artist who was able to
conjugate pin-up art with fine art, creating
works which would certainly cut a fine
figure in a museum as well as they did on the
wail of a barber's shop.
Up until the Early 40's, the main clients of
B&B (as well as of other calendar publishers) we re commercial outfits and - during wartime - soldie rs. Pin-up calendars,
which consisted of one, six, or twelve illustrated pages, were primed leaving enough
room between the picture and the calendar
dates for the client company to print its own
name and advertisement. Each company
would then distribute the calendars tO its
custOmers and employees, as a gift a nd/or a
promotional piece. Consequently, pin-up
calendar distribution was wide, and nudity
(if toned down by the artistic medium) was
generally avoided. Nude paintings were

rather customary in the 20's and 30's, yet


their exotic/dreamlike settings contributed
to keep them far from everyday reality (and
from censorship). With theoutburstofWW2,
the B&B pin-up calendars went back to
reality. Soldiers needed something which
could remind them the most pleasant aspects
of the everyday life they had been taken
away from, and the B&B girls, with their
apparently naive attitude and their fleshy
lips, did their best tO incarnate any kind of
woman- the sister, the friend, the sweetheart. as well as the unidentified "object of
desire" of the American private.
During wartime, due to the ever-growing
request of pin-up paintings, Brown & Bigelow "recycled" calendar paintings, or created new ones, for other fonnats and media,
such as posters, mini-poster series, postcards (known as "mutoscope cards") obtainable from a machine at five cents each,
match boxes, cigarette-cases , and even
braces. Painted pin-ups were so popular,
that many an aircraft fuselage was decorated with them (this peculiar branch of pinup art being known as "nose art") by nonprofessional artists who copied them from
the B&B calendars or from the Esquire
gatefolds [see Book Two). If, then, a professional pin-up artist happened tO be drafted,
the Armed Forces didn't think twice and ad-

PIN UP ART

45

Two pin-ups by Arthur Sarnoff, 1946. Kemper-Thomas Company

ded art chores to his military dulies: this is


the case with Earl MacPherson (born 1911)
who, after painting two Artist's Sketch Pad
Calendars for B&B in 1940 and 1941, joined the U .S. Navy and decorated the Ward
Room with huge pin-up painlings.
ln 1941, Esquire magazine started selling
its pin-up calendars by mail and through
retailers . Thus a new, hitherto unexplored
market was fo und for pin-up art, and Brown
& Bigelow naturalJy plunged into it, countering Alberto Vargas's "statuesque" g irls
with its more easy-going, yet equally sensuous pictures. These were created, through
the 40's and 50's, by a number of highlytalented anists which included Earl Moran,
GilElvgren,Zoe Mozen, Ted Withers, K.O.
Munson, AJ Buell, Freeman Elliot, Jules
Erbit, Fritz Willis, and many others. Yet it
was mainly the first three of them who made
the history of pin-up an.
Earl Steffa Moran was born on December 8,
1893 in Plaine, Iowa. SliiJ in his teens, he
fell in love with illus tration, carefully studying the works of such greats as Charles
Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg,
and Coles Phillips. After studying a t the
Chicago Art Institute and the An Students
League in New York, Moran worked as an
apprentice printer, and later as a fashion
designer. In 1934, he joined the Brown &

46 E S T I I E T I

QL E

Bigelow "factory ",eventually replacing Rolf


Armstrong as its top pin-up artist. Three
years later Moran was working out of his
own studio in Manhattan, where he created
his finest pastel paintings, drawing inspiration from the curves of many a gorgeous
model, including young Marilyn Monroe
and Jayne Mansfield. After leaving Brown
& B igelow in 1958, Moran continued painLing female nudes as private commissions
unlil abouttwo yearsbefore hisdeath, which
took place in Santa Monica, California, on
January 17, 1984.
The great Gillctle A. Elvgren (1915-1980)
became fond of painting and colours at an
early age, perhaps because his father owned
a large paint store in St. Paul, Minnesota.
After studying at the American Academy of
Fine Art, Elvgrcn became a full-ncdged
illustrator when he joined the Haddon Sundblom studioinChicago.ForSundblom (who
is universally known for his Coca-Cola poster art), E lvgrcn did mainly advertising
illustrations, working together with other
great artists such as AI Buell , Andrew
Loomis, and Harry Ekman. From the 1930's
onwards, he devoted himself mainly to pinup art, painting calendars, posters and postcards for the Louis F. Dow Company of St.
Joseph, Missouri, and later (from 1945
onwards) for Brown & Bigelow. His beau-

tiful girl oil paintings were done in a soft.


almost "ethereal" style, which was certainly
influenced by Sundblom's and had something in common with Peter Driben's cover
paintings for Robert Harrison's magazines.
Elvgren also did memorable pin-ups for
several Coca-Cola advertising campaigns.
Apart from his early renderings, Elvgren
was the only pin-up artist who worked at top
levels during his thirty-odd-year tenure with
B& B, as well as one of the few who created
picllU'es which are not at all affected by the
passing of time. Led to an untimely death by
his excessive fondness for alcoholic drinks,
E lvgren has long been considered a son of
"second-choice Vargas", yet today - at
long last - his incredible talent has been
recognized and prices fo r his original paintings have gone over the top.
It was in the mid-1930's that Alice Adelaide
Moser (born July 4 , 1907 in Colorado
Springs, Colorado) decided to change her
name into the more exotic Zoe Mozen.
After learning the basics of illustration and
painting from Thornton Oaldey (himself a
discipleofN. C. Wyeth), Mozert worked for
a while as a shop-window decorator in
Philadelphia before doing herftrstfew pastel
paintings portraying beautiful girls (circa
1933). Until 1940, her illustrations graced
the covers of such magazines as Romantic

Pin-up by Joyce Ballantyne. Gag: "'can never get things straight.

P l N

II P

A RT

47

Two pin-ups by Fritz Willis: plate from the 1962 Artist's Sketchbook Calendar, and Lola (1966). e Brown & Bigelow

Movie Stories, True Confessions, and Screen


Book, as well as those of sexy pulps like
Paris Nights. In 1938, William Rando lph
Hearst's American Weekly published twe lve of her paintings. Mozert also did several
advertising illustrations for Irresistible Perfume, Dr. Pepper, Kool Cigarettes, and other
companies. In 1941 , Zoe sent some of her
nude paintings to Esquire's publisher David
Smart, who looked enthused and bought a
dozen of them. For some reason, though, he
never published any of them. Shortly after,
Orion Winford, an art director at Brown &
Bigelow, offered an exclus ive contract to
Mozen, who d idn't think twice and joined
the ~pin-up factory" staff. Her ftrSt female
nude for B&B, Sweet Dreams, was the
company's top seller for 1943. Mozen's
delicate pin-ups continued to appear under
the B&B imprint until the mid- 1960's(when
the artist was being paid between $ 4,000
and S 5,000 for each o f them), yet she was
able to made a name for herself in other
fields o f illustration, too: the mo vie poster
she did for 1943's The Outlaw, portraying
sexy bomb Jane Russell. is a case in point.
Though some times Mozert's pin-up paintings look a bit too affected, and lack the
"neshy" quality which more attracts the
male public, no one can deny that she was
(Mozert died in 1993) the only female pin-

48 E S T H E T I Q U E

up artist (others worth remembering were


Joyce Ballantyne, Ruth Deckard, and Pearl
Frush) who managed to make it big - on
account of her talent and excelle nt taste in a field which was do minated by males.
The "B&B style" had - as we said before
-several followers and imitators, particularly as regards the calendar field . Brown &
Bigelow's major competitor was the ShawBarton Company ofCoshocton, Ohio (founded by former B&B executives), which
produced (1941) a famous one-sheet calendar entitled Going Places. Its author was
Earl MacPherson, who had been a B&B for
three years. Early in 1946, after serving in
the U.S. Navy, MacPherson started painting
pin-up calendars again in his idiosyncratic
"sketchbook" style (later imitated by his
former assistant, T .N. Thompson), which
were published by Shaw-Barton untill957.
It must also be remembered that MacPherson authored the only ex isting "didactic"
book on pin-up art, published by Walter T.
Foster in his famous art book series, e ntitled
Pin-up Art: How to Draw and Paint Beautiful Girls (1954).
Another company, Kc mper-Thomas of
Cinc innati, Ohio, produced several pin-up
calendars between the 1940's and 1960's,
entrusting them to such talented artists as
Arthur Sarnoff (b. 19 12) and Bill Randall

(b. 1911 ). Another publisher, A. Fox, specialized in pin-up calendars whose pictures
almost inevitably focused on girls' panties.
They were painted, between the 1950's and
1960's, by such artists as S lauery and Jay
ScottPike (bom 1924), who also drew several girl characters (including jungle girls
Lorna and Jann) for the comic books.
None of the above-mentioned companies
ever we nt so far as to seriously threaten
B&B's supremacy. Competition came from
another field, magazine publishing, when a
beautiful, large-sized monthly started appearing in 1933, eventually becoming a
veritable treasure chest for pin-up art collectors. Tha t magazine was Esquire.

t. Paul, capitalc du Minnesota depuis 1858, a etc batie sur Ia rive


gauche du Mississippi, dans Ia partie sud-orientale de cct ctaL Nee en 1820,
commebasepour lescommcrcantsen pcaux,
e lle est aujourd'hui, avec sa "jumelle" Minneapolis, u n centre commercial rcmarquable et unimportant marchc de blc, de bovins
e t de porcins. Mais, cc qui nous imcresse le
plus de celte ville, c'est que St. Paul a Ct
aussi le plus grand centre de production de
l'art pin-up madein USA.C'esten 1903qu'a
etC public, par B&B, un girlie calendaromc

d'une pcinture de Angelo Asti intitulec Coleue. D'aillcurs, Brown & Bigelow est cerlaincmcntle nom de La premiere maison d'edition Ia plus imponante de calendriers du
monde. Son siege social sc trouve, encore
aujourd'hui, Plato Boulevard, dans Ia ville
de St. Paul. Ce premier calendrier, centre
sur Ia femme, ainsi que son succes commercial, puisqu'on en vend it plus d'un million et
demi d'exemplaires, favoriserentla production en strie de girlie calendars e t par constqucnt Ia creation d'une equipc d'artistes
specialists dans Ia realisalion d'illustrations
toujours plus scnsuelles et allusives. B&B,
tout en conlinuanl a realiser des calendriers
de toute sortc, jugerent opponun de dedier
une "tranche" considerable a leur production de "jolies poupees pcimes". Sous bien
des aspects, ils se transformcrem en une
veritable "usine des pin-ups".
La superiorite de Brown & Bigelow dans le
secteur des pin-up calendars et de I'art pinupen general, fut determinec par leur habilcte a s'assurer Ia collaboralion de presque
tous les meille urs artistes dans cette branche. lis allcrcnt meme jusqu'a lcs "voter" a
Ia concurrence avec des proposiLions financicrcs trcs avantageuscs. Pendantles annecs
20 et 30, Rolf Armstrong (1889-1960), fut
certainement leur element le plus prestigieux. Ce demier, ex-boxeur et skipper
repute, qui avait r~u sa formalion artisliquc
au Chicago An Institute, crea toute une serie
d"illustrations dclicates, presque toutes realisees avec des couleurs pastel s'inspirantde
modeles plut6t que de photos. Peut-etre
s'agissait-il Ia de !'aspect qui differenciait
les pin- ups d'Armstrong de celles des autres
anistes qui etaicnt ses contemporains. Ce la
les rcndait plus vivantes et plus "chaudes",
aussi bien quand elles prcnaient des poses
sophistiquees et reveuscs qucquand elles se
montraiemcoquines etludiques. Armstrong
futpcut-etrcle premier qui concilia l'artpinup avec !'art "serieux" car il composa des
reuvres qui pouvaient faire unc bonne impression aussi bien sur le m ur d'un salon de
barbier que sur celui d'un musee.

Jusqu'au debut des annees 40, les entreprisescommercialesainsiquelessoldats,durant


uniquement Ia pCdiode de Ia guerre, furent
lcs principaux clients de Brown & Bigelow
(tout com me ceux d'autres &liteurs sp&:ialises dans Ia production de calendriers). On
imprimait lcs calendriers avec pin-ups,
pouvant contenir une seule illustration, ou
bien six, voire douze (une pourchaque mois
de l'annee). avec un espace blanc entre Ia
pin-up et lcs dates, pour pcrmettre d'appliquer le Limbre des differcntcs entreprises
qui veillaient par Ia suite a distribuer ces
calendriers a leurs clients ou employes
commc "cadcau de fin d'annee" ou pour
fairc de La publicite. C'estdonc pourquoi les
calendriers avec pin-ups etaient abondamment diffuses et que Ia nudite (bien que
mitigee par Ia reproduction artistique) eta it
gcncralementevitee. Ce futdurantlesannees
20 etles annees 30 que les illustrations de
nus sur les pin-up calendars connurentleur
plus grande diffusion, mcme si le fait d'avoir place ces nus dans un contexte "exotico-onirique" contribuaitlargement a mettre
des dis tances entre ces illustrations etla vie
de to us lcs jours. A vee Ia Deux ieme Guerre
Mondialc, ces pin-ups furent, pour ainsi
dire, repartees a Ia rCalite: les jeunes du
front avaient besoin de quelque chose qui
leur rappelle les aspects lcs plus agreables
dece quotidien d'ou on les avaitarraches,et,
les reproductions des girls de B&B avec
leur auitudc un peu puerile, leurs jambes
bien roulecs, leur componement apparemment na:if et leur bouche pulpeuse, faisaient
de leur mieux pour remplacer, dans cctte
ambiguitC de fond, tant6t Ia sreur, tant6t
l'amie sincere, tant6t Ia girl-friend, tant6t
"eel objet du desir" du private americain.
Ce fut justement pendant Ia periode de Ia
guerrcque Brown & Bigelow diversificrent

'

-~

leur production, surtout parce que les Forces Armees reclamaient plus de pin-ups. lis
"recyc lcrent" les iII ustrations des calendriers
et en crccrent de nouvelles pour d'autres
formalS Cl d'autres medias. Les "jolics poupees" griffl~es B&B apparurent sur des affiches, des series de mini-poster, des cartespostales (appelees mutoscope cards) que
I'on pouvait se procurergriice a des distributeurs automatiques a cinq cents l'une, ou
encore sur des boites d'allumenes, des port.e-cigarenes et meme des bretelles (pour
hommes, bien entendu). Ces pin-ups eurent
un tel succes que des anistes non professionnels peignirent sur le fuselage d'avions
decombatles "jolies poupees" qu'ilsavaiem
copiecs des calendriers de Brown & Bigelow, ou bien des pages centrales de Esquire
[voir le deuxicme tome]. C'cst ainsi qu'ils
inaugurerent un secteur "peripherique" de
!'art pin-up qui devint celebre avec le nom
de nose art, car nose designait justementle
f usclagede l'avion. S'il ani vail ensuitequ'un
artiste renomme dans !'art pin-up soit enr6le, les Forces Arrnees americaines ne laissaient pas echapper !'occasion d'ajouter au
devoir militaire decedemier, celui d'egayer
les troupes avec ses illustrations chatouillantes. C'est cc qui se produisit avec Earl
MacPherson (ne en 1911), qui, apres avoir
realise pour Brown & Bigelow deux Artist's
Sketch Pad Calendars en 1940 et 1941 , fut
recrute en Marine et put ainsi decorer avec

____

-.-,-,.-,.__---....

Hawaiian girl by Earl Mac Pherson from Pin-up Art: How to Draw and Paint Beautiful Girls (1954), a Walter T. Foster art book.

P I 1'\ U P A R T 49

Fetish srtuations in two pin-up artworks by Gil Elvgren. Brown & Bigelow

ses pin-ups les postes de garde e t les logements pour les officiers.
En 1941, Esquire inaugura Ia veme au detail
de pin-up calendars par correspondance, il
ouvritlesportesa un marchequijusqu'aJors
eLait inexplore. Brown & Bigelow s'y jeterent Ia te te la premiere, ils opposerent aux
girls sculpturales d'Aiberto Vargas les illustratio ns plus "coquines" mais tout aussi
sensuelles crcecs par leurs artistes. Pendant
les annees 40 et 50, Ia company de S t. Paul
pouvait compter sur des noms de tres grande
vaJeur comme Earl Moran, Gil Elvgren,
Zoe Mozert, Ted Withers, K.O. Munson,
Freeman Elliot, AI Buell, Jules Erbit, Fritz
Willis ct bien d'autres e ncore. Mais ce furent surtout les trois premie rs qui "marquerent" l'histoire de l'art pin-up.
Earl Steffa Moran, ne le 8 decem bre 1893 a
Plaine dans !'Iowa, sc consacra a!'illustratio n, aJors qu'il n 'l~t.ait qu'un adolescent, il
suivit les l~ons de Charles Gibson, James
Montgomery Flagg ct Coles Philips. Apres
scsetudes au Chicago An lnstilutcet a I'Art
Students League de New York, il travailla
comme aide-typographe, puis comme dcssinateur de mode. En 1934, il pcrcra a Ia
factory de Brown & Bigelow, e til re mplacra
progressivement Rolf Armstrong en qualite
de principal pin-up artist. Trois ans plus
tard, Moran ouvrit un studio a Manhattan.
Ce futla qu'il crea scs plus belles pcintures
pastel, s'inspirant des courbcs somptueuses

50 E S T II E T I Q C E

de magniliques modeles, parmi lesquc lles


on pcut c iter Marilyn Monroe et Jayne
Mansfield qui et.aient tres jeuncs e t encore
inconnues aCCllC epoque-la. Moran realisa
aussi des illustrations publicitaires pour
Sears, Roebuck & Co, des couvertures de
magazines com me Life ctBeauty Parade (il
etait aussi co-ed.iteur de ceue dcmiere re
vue, comme on l'a deja signaJe) et des affiches de c inema (com me celle pour Somethingfor the Boys, 1944). Lorsque se term ina
sa collaboration avec Brown & Bigelow
( 1958), Moran peignit des nus fcmin ins
pour des commissionnaires privcs jusqu'a
deux ans avant sa mort. n s'eteignit le 17
janvie r 1984 Santa Monica, en Califomie.
Ce fut tres tot que !'amo ur pour !'art et lcs
couleurs naquit chez le grand Gillette A.
Elvgre n ( 1915-1980), probablement parce
que son pere etail proprietaire d'un grand
magasin de peintures a St. Paul dans le
Minnesota. Apres ses etudes a !'American
Academ y of Fine Arts, Elvgren s'est surtout
consacre a !'illustration publicitaire. 11 a
travaille aChicago c hez Haddon Sundblom
(le celebre auteur des aflichcs de CocaCola) avec d'autresartistes de la trempc d'Al
Buell, Andrew L oomis et Harry Ekman,
avant de se dedjer a I'art pin-up. A partir des
a nnees 30, il a realise des calendrie rs, des
affiches et des cartes-posrales pour la Louis
F. Dow Co. de St. Joseph, au Missouri, el (a
partir de 1945) pour Brown & Bige low. Le

style de ses trcs belles girls et.ait "souple",


parfoisethcre; il subissaitprobablement l'innuence de Sundblom et il possedait des
elements communs avec celui de Peter
Driben pour ses couvertures deBeaucy Parade et des autres revues de Robert Harrison. Les pin-ups que Elvgren dessina pour
plusieurs campagnes publicitaires de CocaCola furent aussi memorables. A pan ses
tout pre miers essais, Elvgren futle seul des
pin-ups artists de Brown & Bigelow qui
continua a conserver dans ses dessins un
t.rCs hauL niveau de perfection. Mais il ful
surtout celui qui crea des illustrations "indatables" encore aujourd'hui aJors que cinquante ans se som deja ecoules. Mort premature ment a cause de son gout excessif
pour l'aJcool, on a longtemps considere
El vgren une sorte de "Vargas des pauvres",
mais hcureuscmcnl aujourd'hui, on commence a re ndre justice a son incroyable
talent; d'ailleurs ses a:uvres ont aueint des
prix faramine ux.
Alice Adelaide Moser (nee le4 juilletl907
a Colorado Springs) decida de changer de
no m, vcrs lc debut des annees 30, el choisit
Zoe Mozertqui lui semblait plusevocateur.
Elle fut init.iee aux secrets de l'iUustration
par Thomson Oakley, eleve du grand N.C.
Wyeth el travailla pendant uncertain temps
comme etalagiste a Philadelphie avant de
realiscr, ve rs 1933, scs premiers pastels fcminins. Jusqu'en 1940, ses illustrations

Leg art in two pin-up artworks by Gil Elvgren. <Q Brown & Bigelow

egayerent les couvertures de revues telles


que Romantic Movie Stories, True Confessions et Screen Book, mais aussi des sexy
pulps comme Paris Nights. En 1938l'American Weekly de William Randolph Hearst
publia douze de ses dessins. Zoe Mozert
reaiisa aussi de nombreuses illustrations publicitaires pour des commissionnaires
comme Irrestible Perfume, Dr. Pepper et
Kool Cigarettes. Vers 1941, Zoe envoya
quelques-uns de ses nus feminins a David
Smart, editeur de Esquire; ce demier en fut
enthousiaste et en acheta une douzaine,
pourt.ant, pour une raison qui nous echappe,
il ne les publia jamais. Peu apres, Orion
Winford, directeur artistique pour Brown &
Bigelow, offrit a Zoe Mozert un contrat
d'exclusivite a des conditions tres avantageuses que l'artiste se fit un plaisir d'accepter. Son premier "nu feminin" pour B&B,
Sweet Dreams, fut !'illustration Ia plus vendue de Ia societe de St. Paul en 1943. On
continua a publier les delicates pin-ups a
poi! de~ Mozert pour le public de Brown
& Bigelow jusqu'a Ia moitie des annees 60
(lorsque pour chacune d'entre elles, I'artiste
touchait de 4000 a 5000 dollars). Mais, cette
artiste put aussi se distinguer dans d'autres
branches de !'illustration: son affiche pour
le film The Outlaw (Le Banni, 1943) avec Ia
"bombe sexuelle" Jane Russell fut memorable. Bien que Ia plupart de ses reuvres soient
empreintes d'une certaine mievrerie qui

attenue ainsi !'impact "epidermique" (tout


du mains pour ce qui conceme le public
masculin), il faut reconnaitre que Zoe
Mozert, morte en 1993, fut une des rares
artistes femmes (Joyce Ballantyne, Ruth
Deckard et Pearl Frush en furent aussi du
nombre) qui put survivre aisement dans une
branche artistique faite pour les hommes et
dominee (tout du mains numeriquement)
par Ies hommes. Elle arriva a ce resultat
grace asa soli de preparation technique et a
sa tres grande sensibilite artistique.
Le "style B&B" eut, comme nous l'avons
deja evoque, differents emules et imitateurs, surtout dans le domaine des eatendriers. La Shaw-Barton Company de Coshocton dans I'Ohio fut Ia plus grosse concurrente de Brown & Bigelow; ceue societe fut
d'ailleurs fondee par quelques ex-dirigeants
de B&B. En 1941, cette demiere publia un
celebre calendrier n'ayant qu'une illustration dont Ie nom etait Going Places creee
par ce meme MacPherson qui avail signe,
auparavant, un contratavec Brown & Bigelow d'une duree de trois ans. Au debut de
1946, une fois termine son service dans Ia
Marine des Etats-Unis, MacPherson recommen~ a peindre des calendriers dans un
style tout a fait personnel de "camet d'ebauches" qui fut d'ailleurs imite par son exassistant T.N. Thompson. Ce futjustement
laShaw-Bartonqui lespubliajusqu'en 1957.
Il faut aussi rappeler que MacPherson est

l'auteur du seul livre "didactique" sur l'art


pin-up, pub lie en 1954 par Walter T. Foster
dans sa celebre collection, avec Ie titre suivant: Pin-up Art: How to Draw and Paint
Beautiful Girls. Une autre maison d'edition
la Kemper-Thomas Company de Cincinnati, toujours dans l'Ohio, produisit de tres
nombreux pin-up calendars dans Ia periode
qui vades annees 40 au debut des annees 60.
On confia leur realisation a des artistes de
talentcommeArthurSamoff(neen 1912)et
Bill Randall (ne en 1911). Un autre editeur,
A. Fox, se specialisa, acheval sur les annees
50 et60, dans Ia production de pin-up calendars dont les illustrations mettaient toujours en evidence les petites culottes des
girls: parmi leurs auteurs, on remarque Ies
noms suivants: Art Frahm, un artiste connu
sous le nom de Slattery etJay Scott Pike (nt
en 1924), celebre pour ses sujets feminins,
presents aussi dans les comic books ou il
dessina entreautresLorna the Jungle Girl et
]ann of the Jungle.
Aucun des editeurs que nous avons mentionnes ne parvint jamais a ebranler Ia suprematie de Brown & Bigelow. Le seul et
unique rival redoutable de Ia factory de St.
Paul fut une belle revue de grand format qui
representa et qui represente toujours pour
les amoureux de l'art pin-up une veritable
"coffre au tresor": et nous sommes, naturellement, en train de parter d'Esquire.

PIN UP ART 51

Earl Moran
Girlie calendars and pin-up photos

52 E S T H E T I Q U E

P TN

TJ P

A RT

S~

Pages 5255: Pin-ups from mutoscope cards and girlie calendars produced by Brown & Bigelow. Brown & Bigelow

54

ES T H ET I Q U E

WHY-WB'RB
BARELY ACOUAJNTBD

PI

U P ART 55

.\'o kisses, and a girl a111l


her !toney arc soon par/rd.

In these pages: Norma Jean Dougherty (future movie star Marilyn Monroe) in some photos (!> Playboy) shot by Earl M oran (1946-48) ...

56 E S T H E T I Q U E

... and pin-ups painted by the artist from those shots. Brown & Bigelow

PIN

U P AR T 57

Time to Call. <!:> Brown & Bigelow.

58 E S T H E T I Q U E

Marilyn Monroe nude painting, Late 1940s.


P I ~

C P A HT

59

Gil Elvgren
Girlie calendars and pin-up paintings

60 E S T H E T I Q U E

PIN

UP ART 61

62 E S T I I E T I Q U E

PIN UP ART 63

"This skin / love to touch."

6ft EST II ET I QC E

Hey Honey... it's a cinch!

PI

UP AR T

65

66 EST II ET I QUE

PI

U P AR T 67

68 ESTHETIQUE

Above: .. Nothing to sneeze at." <!:> Brown & Bigelow

Pages 60-68: Pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow reproduced from original posters and girlie calendars. e Brown & Bigelow

PIN UP ART 69

Earl MacPherson
Pictures from
Artist's Sketch Pad Calendars,
Pin-up Art: How to Draw and Paint Beautiful Girls,
and pin-up photos

70 E S T II E T I Q t.; E

THE

PASTELS

are a pplied with my finger tips, to give a flesh-l ike qua lity and ,,-a te r color is used with small brushes

fo r detail in the eyes and teeth. Note a lso the use o f p rops, such as hats, aprons, etc.. which are an im portant part
of the pose. The o ri ginals of these illust rations are 21"' x 28"' overall , which is large enoug h for all reproduction
purposes a nd also a convenient painting size.

P T

TT P

A P 'T

71

1->AINTINa -the 1i1N-U1'

,,

'\

\ 1:

\{I
~

THE ADO\'!::

'

illust rations arc from th e l\ lacPhcrson Sketchbook. an annual advettising ralendar, produced by the

Shaw-Barton Co. of Coshocton. Ohio, with a distribution of over a million ropics.

Thc~e

illustrations arc for your

study, particularly in the use o f color and al~o to aid in thf' training o f vour mod e l~. The medium used is pastel
and water color.

Pages 70-73 : Drawings and pages from Pin-up Art: How to Draw and Paint Beautiful Girls art book, Walter T. Foster, 1954.

72 ES THETJ QUE

I
" ~<;?~.
tl.

~~

r;, . .,, . :

.............

' ~""""
~ N. \1,. ":::.: r~ ,."- "' .
r.::M ,...i'

P TN

TT P

'

A RT

7~

Top: Betty Morelius posing for a MacPherson pin-up girl painting (right) in the Early 1940s.
Above: Lili in a photo shot by the artist, and a plate from the 1941 Artist's Sketch Pad Calendar( Brown & Bigelow).

74

EST H ET I Q

uE

I$

f,y (fo.ll...'U

rr. _.;_ ......... _ ...


......................

""' ......... _
.. .,;,.M
,..,_,.,.,"L)~ f

.,

~Ate"~ ~
J:
)J

..

u~

1:.

tt

'.l

l.f~11t;'fl_..,

:'

:~
~

:.J

:s .. .)..'

.....

~..

:,,

\1

'

.-

.!

p.

~-Au'1'.sl
C'

"'

<"

..

'

1.: 1.1 14
"'~ :J
..!.:~,~~~:7.:1
ID

II

,, '" ,, u

:, ,... ,,

Minta Hoia (above left), Earl MacPherson's favourite model, posed for the 1954 Artist's Sketchbook Calendar, titled Hunter's
Barton). All pictures on this and previous page are from the book Memoirs of Earl MacPherson. ~ Earl MacPherson
P T

Guide (~

T1 P

Shaw-

A R 'r

7C\

Zoe Mozert
Brown & Bigelow girlie calendars
and mutoscope cards

76 E S T H E T I

QU E

All pictures on this and following page are copyright CO Brown & Bigelow

PI N U P AR T 77

Introduction
5
Sexy Pulps & Girlie Magazines
8
A1argaretBrundage
20
Harry Parkhurst, Hugh J. Ward, Jo hn Newton Howitt...
24
Enoch Bolles
28
Peter Driben
32
Brown & Bigelow: the Pin-up Factory
38
Ear/A1oran
52
Gil Elvgren
60
Earl A1acPherson

70
Zoe Mozert

76

Above: Earl Moran, pin-up girl from his 1949 Brown & Bigelow calendar. Brown & Bigelow
Opposite : Gil Elvgren, plate from his 1952 Brown & Bigelow calendar. Brown & Bigelow
Final page: AI Moore, plate from the 1950 Esquire Girl Calendar. Esquire Associates

The Golden Age of PIN-UP ART


Book One
Testi I Text: Alberto Becauini
Redazione I Editorial staff: Riccardo Morrocchi, Stefano Piselli
Ricerca fonti I Research: Alberto Becattini, Riccardo Morrocchi, Stefano Piselli
Grafica e impaginazione I Concept & design: Stefano Piselli
Traduzione inglese I English translation: Alberto Becauini
Traduzione francese I French translation: Susanna Longo
Stampa I Printed by: C.E. Nerbini, Firenze
Copertina I Cover: Gil Elvgren Brown & Bigelow
Retrocopertina I Back cover: Peter Driben
II copyright delle immagini riprodotte a fini di studio e documentazione
si intende dei singoli autori e/o editori o di chiunque altro ne detenga i diritti
This book contains photos and drawings
included for the purpose of criticism and documentation
All pictures copyrighted by respective authors, publishers
and/or other copyright holders
Copyright dell' opera: Glittering Images edizioni d'essai, Firenze
Tutti i diritti riservati. Tous droits reserves. All rights reserved

Printed in Italy
Firenze, Dicembre 1994

To be continued in Book Two ...

0 T li E T I QU
FETISH &BIZARRE

Per Adulti - For Adults Only - Pour Adultes

GLITTERING
I

edizioni

d'essai

Potrebbero piacerti anche