Thursday, April 30, 2009

NOT a Bolles

I saw this poster for sale on eBay recently, advertised as artwork by Enoch Bolles. The trouble is that it's not a Bolles. The image was attributed to him in the book, The Great American Pin-up and first appeared on the cover of a 1937 issue of Bedtime Stories (or maybe it was Pep). Bolles did paint covers for that title but the last one was in 1934 (the last Pep in 1932). There's more that's wrong. The color of her negligee as well as the design is not Bolles. Her had poses are not right and her expression is too sedate. Bolles would never paint such gauzy shadowing. It's a great cover but it's by the other EB, Earle Bergey. I also think that a lot of Bergey girls look like Ann Southern.
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There's another Bergey in the Bolles section of The Great American Pinup too, as well as a Bergy painting in the National American Illustration Museum attributed to Bolles. A long time back I contacted both the book authors and people at the museum about these errors but that didn't go anywhere. I've talked to a grandson of Bergey and he's also tried to set the record straight but to no avail. There are other works that have been wrongly attributed to Bolles, particularly Quintana so I'll soon be posting a primer on what makes a Bolles, and what doesn't. But that won't be for a while. Tomorrow I'm headed off to Chicago for the Windy City pulp and paper convention. There may be an original Bolles hanging in the art show so I've got to see it. I'll bring a camera and snap some pics for the blog. Maybe I'll find some other goodies to share.

9 comments:

BLDawley said...

Hey! I have that Great American Pin-ups book. And I remember thinking that those 2 images were quite different in tone and style. Thanks for the comfirmation, Jack. But now I curse you because I am sucked into this book and I can't stop reading it. Enjoy Chicago!

darwination said...

You're definitely right this is a Bergey, Jack, and I think you're right that it's a Bedtime Stories cover, but I'd place the date earlier, say 1935. I'm not positive because I dont have a full set of the covers, but I'm fairly sure.

I love the covers Bolles did for this Bedtime Stories in 33 on the women in history them that sort of mirror the women of the world themed covers he was doing for tattle tales at the time, perhaps you'll post a nice image of the Du Barry sometime ;)

I wonder why I see covers misattributed to Bolles so often, I guess it's just because he's the most famous artist to work for the girlie pulps...

Have fun at the pulp con, I'm jealous!

Jack R said...

Hey Brandon,
There's a lot to see and read in that book, for certain. But unfortunately, in addition to the misattributed images they include a lot of information on Bolles that is simply wrong.

Hi Beau,
Thanks for the info on the date. At one time I had a scan of the cover but I have no idea what happened to it. I still intend on sending the Bolles ad scan to you.
I do have a good Du Barry and will get it up on the blog one of these days.
Jack

Alan Wrobel said...

Isn't image 148 in the Great American Pinup also a Bergey attributed to our man Enoch? I stopped by the Meisel Gallery a few months back in Manhattan and Lou was extremely gracious in showing me some of the original artworks he has. I yakked with him for an hour or so, and did mention that more is being learned about Enoch Bolles and that EB seems to be a far greater artist than he and his collaborator (Charles Martignette, who passed away a couple of years ago) knew when they published their great book. He has some great Mozerts, Armstrongs, Vargas, and at least 1 or 2 Bolles pieces, and more. Also, if you get a minute, check out ebay # 180349913567 for an Armstrong piece of a girl with a polarbear skin run. It may be a precursor to EB's great cover of the girl holding up the bearskin by the head. Cheers!

Alan Wrobel said...

Oops, I forgot you already mentioned that second Bergey. Didn't you mention a while back that George Quintana might be an alias for someone?

Jack R said...

Wow, Alan. How cool that you got to see all those fabulous originals and spend time with Lou Meisel! As far as the polar bear girl goes, she will be up for sale at the next Heritage auction. I'll have to check and see if they have a scan of her up on the site yet. And yes, Quintana is an alias but that post is still in the composition stage.
Jack

coz said...

A few years ago Mastronet offered this painting (from Charles Martignette, in one of their auctions). I called them and told them it was a Bergey painting, not a Bolles. They called Martignette, who was supposedly upset at this attribution (Bergey worth less than Bolles). I bought the painting, kept it a couple of years, sold it to a friend. He traded it to another local collector who them re-attributed to Bolles to maximize the resale value on eBay.
It is Bergey 100% without question.

Jack R said...

It is a great painting, Bolles or not. I hope you enjoyed it.

generic viagra said...

haha I love it, this actress was beautiful on that times, the cover bottles we're just amazing.
Thanks for sharing, nice post.