A Quick History of the Pin-up Girl

by - 9:45 AM

      So How Did it Start?


  • Started in the 20th century during a time when women showing even an ankle was considered risqué and unheard of.  Thus the art form of showing women baring more skin began to rebel against repression as well as the Great Depression of 1929.
  • 1920 underground pulp magazines begun to featuring leading ladies are featured in illustrations in what is considered risqué clothing and poses
  • Artists George Petty, Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas among a few create calendars featuring pretty girls in sexy poses. They soon adorn walls of garages and workshops.
The art work of Elvgren (photo from BooBoo Kitty Couture)
  • In 1940 pinup art explodes and can be seen on planes of fighter pilots during World War Two
  • After WWII pin-up art becomes a collector’s item
  • By the 1950’s and 60’s pinup imagery goes from drawings and paintings to photography becoming mainstream in America. Popular models include: Jayne Mansfield, Betty Garbal, Bettie Page
  • During the 70’s and 80’s the art begins to dye due to the move towards video.
  • A re-emergence takes place in the 90’s with new artists and graphic novels/comics becoming popular.
  • Today we have several popular pinup figures who recreate the early days such as Dita Von Tease, Zoe Scarlette, Kim Falcon, Miss Tayva, Bernie Dexter and Kay O’Hara. Their brands and imagery along with pinup art are now sold and available online.
Pin-up model Bernie Dexter (photo from listal.com)



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