The ultimate model artist
By posing for other artists, did Zoë Mozert gain a greater understanding of her subject? According to the history books, Zoë paid her art school tuition fees by posing for other artists and continued to do so even as her career began to take off. One of the artists she posed for was HJ Ward, whose work adorned pulp Western and detective magazines.
Zoë would pose for him in the mid-1930s. Although a brunette, she had platinum blonde hair during this period as seen on the covers for Spicy Mystery, Spicy Adventure and Spicy Detective that HJ Ward painted. She also posed for Earl Moran and it’s possible that through him she became one of Brown & Bigelow’s ‘big four’ pin-up artists.
“One of her biggest career breaks was modelling for Earl, a famous pin-up artist,” explains pulp art expert David Saunders. “It’s likely this was an important business connection for her. A few of the very best pin-up artists, such as Zoë, left the New York calendar companies and moved to California to pursue their careers in Hollywood.”
In many instances, Zoë also modelled for herself. Later in her career, she was able to paint artwork for sale directly to private galleries. In 1959, aged 52, she painted what was reputed to be the world’s largest reclining nude for the Red Dog Saloon in Scottsdale, Arizona, using her own body as the basis for the picture.
All of these magazine covers from the 1930s feature compositions that Zoë had posed for, painted by her art school classmate HJ Ward.
Zoë was aware of her own beauty and posed for other artists, including for top pin-up painter Earl Moran seen here in 1935.