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Classic Pin-Up Girl Artwork Set for Auction at Heritage

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Popular WW II and Classic Pin-up Girls
“Pin Up in Bikini” by Peter Driben, “All Smiles” by Gil Elvgren (Heritage Auctions)


Back in 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, America’s commercial artists were producing untold numbers of original renderings for covers of novels, movie posters, and pin-ups. Long before the gentleman consumer could find pictures of models in magazines or on Internet, these pieces of artwork captured the beauty and sensuality of the female form.

So-called pin-up art really began to take off during World War II while G.I.’s were overseas, removed from their romantic lives in the states and dealing with long stretches of loneliness. Enter the pin-up girl poster. These were highly colorful and life-like works featuring women in provocative poses, like a scantily clad woman in a fireman’s hat sliding down a fireman’s pole or a women in a scanty bathing suit (the precursor to the Sports Illustrated‘s iconic Swimsuit Issue).

Behind this highly specialized genre of art was a band of artists, including Gil Elvgren, Haddon Hubbard Sundblom, Alberto Vargas, and Enoch Bolles. Now, in an upcoming auction from Heritage, many of these artists’ original works will be for sale. A rep at the house said this of Elvgren’s  “significant” works:

“He is recognized by many as one of the best pin-up artists in history, [and] we are offering several Gil Elvgren works including original oils on canvas’ like Fire Belle (Always Ready), 1956, (est. $100,000-150,000); All Smiles (Glamorous; Glamorous and Witchcraft), 1962, (est. $40,000-60,000); and Cover, Girl!, 1965, (est. $40,000-60,000).”

The auction takes place on May 12 in Dallas. Click here to view some of the featured works or take a look at a preview of some of the works below.

Popular WW II and Classic Pin-up Girls
“Fire Belle” by Gil Elvgren, “Suprised” by Gil Elvgren (Heritage Auctions)
Popular WW II and Classic Pin-up Girls
“Carol Ohmart” by Alberto Vargas, “Please Don’t Peek” by Alberto Vargas (Heritage Auctions)
Popular WW II and Classic Pin-up Girls
“Covergirl” by Gil Elvgren, “Meet Your Water” by Enoch Bolles (Heritiage Auctions)