Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My Bolles pal, the artist Jared Joslin (check out his link on this page) sent me this photo by Paul Outerbridge dated 1937. He thought that Bolles used it as a reference and so did I until I noticed that the Bolles cover was published in 1935. But now I think that Outerbridge borrowed from Bolles. He wouldn't be the first as I've found plenty of other examples, done both by photographers and artists.
Here's another example form 1927 and I'm pretty sure that the Bolles image came first. The caption on the photo was taken right off the magazine cover.
Monday, October 20, 2008
When I first began looking into the career of Enoch Bolles the official party line about him went something like this: An artist who specialized in scandalous and somewhat cartoony pinups. This and other similar descriptions of Bolles effectively stamped him as a semi-talented cartoonist who specialized in pretty girls and nothing else. But the reality of this was an entirely different matter. The unknown truth was that at the same time Bolles was turning out his charming covers for Film Fun and other magazines at the rate of three to five a month he had a parallel career as a talented illustrator in high demand who worked for the top advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson and Barron Collier's Consolidated Streetcar Railway Advertising Company, that was responsible for publishing many of Bolles Trolley cards. The products he illustrated for these and other clients spanned the gamut from bread to swimsuits to Zippo lighters. He did advertising work for major products and companies including Sun-Maid Raisins, Fleischman's yeast, Palm Beach suits, Best Foods and Fox Films (I've only recently discovered his work for the talkies). Unfortunately most of this work was done anonymously, despite the fact that many top artists not only signed their advertising art but additionally, loaned their names to add to the status of the product. Think Leyendecker-Arrow Shirts, Maxfield Parrish-General Electric, Rockwell Kent-Bituminous Coal Institute.
Bolles was not a party among this stellar group
but even lesser names were featured in ad campaigns. Bolles was never one to foist his name but in all likelihood he had already become to some extent tainted by his own particular specialization, namely illustrating very pretty girls who were a lot sexier than those of his peers and competitors. In that sense he
had become a victim of his own talents. But if you look at the two examples I posted you'll see an artist of far greater range and emotional subtlety (also: the lettering in these ads was done freehand by him).
A copy of Snappy Magazine from 1924.
The magazine had been banned in several
cities and the entire state of Kansas.
Bolles initialed but never his entire name to
nearly everycover of Snappy he painted.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Oh the abuse pulp magazines took to survive 70 or 80 years. First they were thumbed to death, especially the spicy pulps that bore repeated 'reading'. Then if they weren't tossed out in the trash they were left to molder for decades in the attic. Here's a fabulous Bolles cover in anything but fabulous shape. I'm pretty good with Photoshop but reanimating this was beyond my abilities. Not so with my pal, TJ. Take a look below at what he was able to do with this cover. Simply amazing! Honestly she never looked this good in real life. TJ has a site where you can download lots of other pinup and glamour art, and he'll be soon adding a Bolles section. The site is intended for grownups so be forewarned.
Here's the link: https://www.exchange.iu.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=5f58680788bd42fcba2a38aba923cb5d&URL=http%3a%2f%2ftj.eroticillusions.com
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Originally Bolles paintings are quite rare, but I do know that four other Film Fun covers from 1934 still survive, the year this police girl roared onto the newsstands. Many cover paintings from this era were tossed out in the trash but you have to believe that someone took a shine to the original police woman. I know that another 1934 Film Fun cover was given to a city mayor simply because he asked for it (yet another post). Might this painting have been spared? One can only hope.
I should add, this issue was given to me by the esteemed Playboy artist and author, Francis "Smilby" Smith, whose "Stolen Sweets" remains the best of the books on the pinup. I had the honor of being a guest of Francis and his lovely and equally artistic wife, Pam a few years ago at their 16th century cottage in England, which was an eclectic museum filled with art, antiques and thousands of rare 78 jazz records. The time I spent with this gracious couple was the highlight of my entire trip to England.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Welcome to the new home of my Enoch Bolles appreciation web-site. As some of you know, my last site disappeared down an internet sinkhole with over 200 rare and previously unseen images of Bolles, his art and rare originals. In coming posts I'll be putting up some of these images along with some new material I've never posted.
So why not start this blog with one of my favorite Bolles Film Fun covers. For many Bolles fans 1937 was the penultimate year for the Bolles high-style, but as you'll see from future posts, this was simply one phase in a career that saw his work constantly evolving over three decades that bridged from the end of the Edwardian era to the beginnings of the classic WW-II pinup.
In a later post I'll upload the original painting of this cover and you'll be able to see exactly what was lost by the engravers. In some cases they left off his signature and with other paintings they blurred or reworked details in order to appease the censors and avoid the wrath of the morals groups that prowled the magazine stands in the 1930s.