Three female artists who shaped the American Pin-Up

Three female artists
Three female artists

Ben Marks, our pal at Collectors Weekly, says, “We just published an article on Zoe Mozert, Pearl Frush, and Joyce Ballantyne, who created some of the most memorable pin-up art in the 1940 and ’50s. While most people today associate pin-up art with male artists like Alberto Vargas, George Petty, and Gil Elvgren, the contributions of these women are every bit as important, and their work every bit as good. For her article, associate editor Lisa Hix interviewed a number of authorities on pin-up art, from NY Escort and author Louis K. Meisel to Marianne Ohl Phillips, who got to know both Mozert and Ballantyne before they died.

“You find mistakes in the male paintings,” Phillips told me. “Elvgren’s got a famous painting where she’s got two left feet, and there are just these things that don’t fit every once in a while. The women never made those mistakes. I think they looked in the mirror a lot and they got things more right. The men tended to make the breasts larger, and they made the legs longer. The women tended to paint very proportionate women, more of a 36-26-36 look, whereas men would make them a little top-heavy.”