The Great American Pin-Up
Author: Various Published by: Taschen Gmbh ISBN: 978-3-8365-3244-0 Price: Amazon New £10.38. Used from £8.44
Apart from Momma’s apple pie and Ford hot rods, what can be more American than the classic pin-up girl? In the middle years of the 20th century, at a time when the standards of photography had reached dizzying heights, curiously, photo-realistic artists were embarking on a golden age of colour illustrations that were almost universally shunned by the fine art community. They featured stunningly beautiful girls, often clad in swimwear and skimpy clothing.
When not lounging provocatively in boudoirs, they were depicted having mild comic book-type escapades that showed more than a glimpse of attractive and extremely feminine underwear. These were the classic pin-ups which appeared in a wide variety of magazines, particularly in the Forties. In the Second World War they became famous for being extracted and pinned to bunkroom walls and military canteens wherever there were American servicemen, dreaming of returning home to families and girlfriends. As morale boosters they were unbeatable, yet the highbrow art lovers dismissed the paintings as mere illustrations, despite the fact that the highly skilled artists were taught in the same schools as their more conventional brethren.
Taschen has accumulated the collected works of more than 20 of the best artists in this lavishly illustrated and remarkably heavy hardback volume of classic pin-ups. Its 280 pages are remarkable value, even more so second-hand.
Nowadays, these wonderfully innocent masterpieces are recognised for what they are: fabulous paintings of glamorous ladies from a more innocent period of history. Incredible value!