From collectible cards to calendars, Zoë Mozert created demand for her work among US servicemen During World War II, Zoë’s art was used to raise the morale of American troops. Her paintings appeared on Mutoscope cards, which could be bought from vending machines. Occasionally, such cards would have comic strips on them, but largely they offered a pin-up girl accompanied by a mild, saucy quip.
One of Zoë’s efforts features a girl in a see-through negligee looking at the telephone, which clearly isn’t ringing. “There must be something wrong with my line,” she thinks. In others, the model is doing some spurious activity normally the domain of men at the time, due to the war effort, such as scrubbing a deck, cutting the lawn or doing some car maintenance. Or, they might merely be adjusting their clothing in revealing ways.
Each card was signed with her distinctive mark, designed for her by advertising executive Doan Powell. After the war, she continued by painting nudes for calendars that were sold via mail order by Brown & Bigelow. Men, many of whom had served and would have known her work from the cards, would take the calendars on standing order every year to see her latest artworks. Both the cards and the calendars are still considered prize collectibles.
A doll-like glamour girl experiences a sudden strap failure, as frequently occurred on Mutoscope pin-up cards painted in the 1940s. Cards like these became
popular with US servicemen before and during World War II, and Zoë’s name stuck in
their memory. Fun, frolics and another broken shoulder strap. Note the excellent anatomy on the
girl, but a bull that’s far less realistic.