History Of The Pin-Up Girl
Originating in the 1890's , Pin up girls became very popular in the 1930s when the image of beautiful women began to flourish. Famous faces like Betty Grable, Carole Lombard and Mae West adorned the calendars and advertisements that were printed and given to American G.I.'s during the war. Burlesque actresses and performers used pin up advertisements on post cards to gain popularity among their fans.
One could often fine them pinned to mirrors, wedged in the joints of gas burners or laid upon the porcelain cast-case waiting for another visitor to pick up a beautiful pinups business card.
From the mid 19th century into the 20th century female caricatures were created with women doing 'ordinary' things, like the famous Gibson girl drawn respectfully by Charles Dana Gibson. Calendars and advertisements were created with eroticism giving way for artist to use there imagination unlike actual photos of famous faces, that were captured in the generation prior; thus giving way to the pin up girl .
Symbolic about her new found feminism, it would also give way to how she felt about her own sexuality. Every man's fantasy these women were drawn and photographed, being placed on calendars and posters and sold for entertainment purposes. Esquire magazine featured the Gibson girls' and became quite famous for the Vargas girls.
During the war the drawings were transformed into women playing dress-up in military uniforms and drawn in sensually seductive forms. The Vargas girls were so popular during WWII that 9 million copies of Esquire magazine were sold without advertisements to American troops overseas and domestically for free of charge.
Famous trained illustrators like Rolf Armstrong and Gil Evgren some of the most technical and absolutely exquisite pinup girl artist created beautiful artwork for matchbooks, magazine covers and calendars which were donned with beautiful pinup art. The pinup girl continued to gain momentum and popularity through the 1950s. Movies were created and most actresses in the 50s became pinups before they came onto the silver screen. Marilyn Monroe was a pinup before and after she became a star. Glamorous and beautiful she was one of Earl Moran's favorite models to sketch. Magazines began to feature the artists who created these bathing beauties; thus making them a household name.
By 1960 the pinup girl had plunged into another dimension. Pinup art began to become inappropriate in the sea of 'Free Love', exploiting the wholesomeness of beauty into the fast lane of nudity. The public became more fascinated with nudes then with creativity and beauty, losing the true meaning of its birth.
Today pinup is nothing like the original form it had been meant to be. Created by artograph, projector, 3-D art design or traced photograph, the creativity of the pinup girl is almost extinct. Rarely do you find an artist who can actually draw or paint a pinup girl by hand.The vast majority of pinups today is not supported by years of talent or hardwork; but by the churning of technology and replication. The artists who created the pinup in the last generation are really a hard group of talent to follow.
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