Pinup Calendars

Pinup calendars have become a staple in barracks and garage walls. Usually found in barbershops and novelty stores during the 1940s and 1950s, these calendars can now be purchased in bookstore and convenience shops. The art behind the pinup calendars started during the time that the Victorian era was about to finish. The strict guard over morality was slowly disintegrating, which gave way to artists producing calendars and posters which feature attractive women as the main selling point. Artists like Jules Cheret, Henri Toulouse-Latrec and Alphonse Mucha produced the first illustrations that paved the way for the popularity of the pinup.

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July 1947 George Petty Calendar Page Beautiful Girl Great Condition
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Sept 1947 George Petty Calendar Page Beautiful Girl Great Condition
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Franklin Mint January Calendar Pin up Girl Pocket Knife Folder
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Oct 1941 Esquire Vargas Girl Calendar Page Beautiful Babe Great Condition
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Vtg 1950s Pinup Girl Calendar Salesman Art FRAHM Advertising Sexy Beach Poster
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Vintage 1993 MAC Tools Calendar Poster Girlie Pinup Girl 1965 Mustang Fastback
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It was Paul Chabas who produced what was considered the most popular early calendar pinup in 1912. Called September Mom, it features a young lady taking a bath in the lake. Although it is very innocent compared to today’s pinup photos, the picture garnered controversy during that time. The popularity and demand for pinup calendars skyrocketed during the classic cheesecake period. From the 1930s to the 1950s, artists like George Petty, Earl Moran and Zoe Mozert were producing pictures of beautiful women in sexy poses, their clothes barely covering their ripe, voluptuous bodies. But the most influential artist during that time was Alberto Vargas, who produced the legendary Varga Girls for Esquire magazine. Some of the most famous Varga pictures produced include the portrait of actress Hedy Lammarr.

Pinup calendars and posters helped launch the careers of some of Hollywood’s goddesses. Betty Grable was known as one of the earliest pinup models, where she showed off her famously gorgeous legs to advantage. Betty Page gained a cult following with the lovers of the pinup genre because of her trademark bangs and risqué poses. Other actresses who became popular pinup models include Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner. But the most famous pinup of them all is none other than fashion goddess Marilyn Monroe. Her calendar, which was taken when she was still a struggling model, is one of the most influential pinup photos and pinup calendars ever made. It was Marilyn’s pictures that set the standard for the concept of Playboy magazine. Playboy used Marilyn and the Varga girl images as inspiration for the photos of the magazine. Playboy publishes pictures that are sexy but tasteful, unlike its competition.

The glamor of pinup calendar girls has influenced the look of some of today’s famous stars. Singer Katy Perry owed her hair and clothing style to Betty Page. Burlesque star Dita Von Teese reintroduced the allure of the classic pinup girl look to the modern generation. Everything about Dita, from her hair and makeup to her famous hourglass figure, is straight out of the 1940s and 1950s. The influence of pinup art can also be seen in comic books. Popular characters such as Vampirella were clearly molded after the pinup girl look. The difference is that in comic books, the romantic designs of the old pinups are mixed with the modern influence of realism, which became a standard for comic book figures.

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