20+ Classical Pinup Drawings And Models That Inspired Them

Jayson Beck

Journalist

You like pinups? Well, you should probably know Gillette A. Elvgren. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he studied art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and American Academy of Art. He also drew a lot of inspirational pin-up posters. He began this series of art by painting calendar pin-ups for Louis F. Dow, one of America's leading publishing companies, in 1937.

Many of his designs were replicated on the noses of planes during World War II. He worked with Brown and Bigelow from 1945 to 1972. Gil was very successfull. In 1951, he started painting in a studio at his home, then located in Winnetka, Illinois, and had an assistant to set up lighting, build props and scenes, photograph sets, and prepare his paints. Brown and Bigelow, Coca-Cola, General Electric and Sealy Mattress Company were just some of his clients, and he illustrated many a magazine. Look at some of his illustrations below, paired with the models that inspired them. Ask your grandparents, maybe they know some of the faces!

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