Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Gay Caballera

While we've been on the continuing story of the missing Bolles cowgirl I thought I'd share some other examples. Here we see a really striking composition from 1933. It is unusual enough both in pose and her features to make me think a model sat for this cover, or perhaps Enoch used a photo for inspiration. This image was reused as a blotter/calendar and on a candy box. In both cases the portion of the signature in the background was clipped out, which to me means Bolles didn't get any extra money for it. But this was standard business procedure for most illustrators then and now. With few exceptions, George Petty being one of the most notable, illustrators did not retain any rights to their work. Typically the art wasn't reused and in fact was often discarded, but in the case of Bolles someone sold his cover images to Brown and Bigelow and other calendar companies. Some of his best under-the-counter covers also reappeared as hand tinted posters produced in the 1930s, done from the original paintings. Several of these posters were from paintings that hadn't been published and so in this case I think Bolles may have been involved personally. I'll post these sometime in the near future, though one of these I have to save for the book, it's just too good!

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