Thursday, November 20, 2008

Light 'em if you got 'em: Today is National Smoke Out Day

On our left is the girl who in 1914 launched Bolles' career. This was only his second published cover but by popular demand from readers it was reprinted as a poster by the publisher, Leslie-Judge for the next 10 years. Please note the cigarette. From what I have read it wasn't until 1928 that any cigarette advertising campaign showed a woman even hold a smoke, much less inhale. Before then she could only longingly admire her man as he acquired a nicotine addiction. But long before this here is our man Enoch using a cigarette to great dramatic effect. I'm not aware of any other illustrator of his era depicting his pretty girl (yes, that was the standard term) with butt in hand (you know what I mean), at least in the 1920s. And at that time the very idea of a young woman wielding a smoke was transgressive. Bolles would use the cigarette as a symbolic exclamation point for the rest of his career. It was so important to him that he once had his son-in-law pose with a cigarette in hand because he was dissatisfied with how he model had wielded it (not that his son-in-law would have ever taken a puff. He was a National champion bicyclist). Bolles himself was a non-smoker but that didn't stop him from doing illustrations for cigarette companies. I have scans of original illustrations for ad campaigns but have never seen anything published.
I'll leave you with a real treat: a never before published original sketch for a cigarette ad. I have no idea if it ever saw print.


Li-An said...

The second picture is great. It's impossible to understand why this lady want to put off her bra and the still nature (orange, wine) is surrealistic.

Jack R said...

I think it's great too, but there's no rhyme or reason to it. By the way, the theme of the painting is Carmen.