Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Pre-Playboy: Classic Pin-ups

I came across this great pin-up series circa 1947 from George Petty, who left an indelible mark on American culture with his Petty girls. "From 1933 to 1956, she was seen on tens of millions of calendars, magazine centrefolds, advertisements, posters, and billboards as well as on all sorts of speciality products." The Petty girl made covers of magazines, including Time, but perhaps her biggest contribution was building morale during wartime.

Petty's illustrations and design of his girls helped created the image of the ideal American girl (Thanks Petty), by combining the best features of several models and by making their heads smaller and their legs and torsos longer. As one critic put it: "When you touch the wrist of a Petty Girl, you almost expect to feel a pulse."

Images via the Animation Archive.

In the 1960's artist Mel Ramos took the genre of pin-ups and gave it his own humorous twist, placing his girls in strange positions with iconic brands.

Images via Trendland.

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