Read The Great American Pin-Up by Charles G. Martignette Free Online
Book Title: The Great American Pin-Up|
The author of the book: Charles G. Martignette
ISBN 13: 9783822817018
Date of issue: September 1st 2002
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 429 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.6
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Martignette, Charles, and Louis K. Meisel. The Great American Pin-up. New York ; Köln: Barnes & Noble ; Taschen, 2006. Print.
I quite enjoyed this coffee table book, which left me wanting more. Certainly wanting more pinups and glamour art but also to see the other artworks, including commercial art, created by these talented artists.
The book begins with some illustrated historical essays, "Pin-Up Art: A Historical Commentary" by Walt A. Reed (2 pages), "The "Fine" Art of Illustration" by Louis K. Meisel (4 pages), and "The Great American Pin-Up" by Charles G. Martignette (18 pages). The book is then divided into 3 sections, with individual artists placed within these sections: Art Deco Era 1920-1940, From World War II to 1970 Pin-Up & Glamour Artists, and Additional Prominent Artists 1930-1980.
The book is available in several editions, including the Barnes & Noble edition which we have, which is often available in their Bargain Books section and is, well, a bargain.
There are 100s of images in the book, many of which are full-page. Seeing as the book is an oversized coffee table book (32.5 x 25 cm; 12.5 x 10") those are large enough to be suitable for framing; assuming one wanted to cut up their copy of the book. Then again, if it is still available in the B&N Bargain Books section buying two copies would be an option.
One thing brought home by this book was the sheer ubiquity of pinup art in American society from about 1930 to 1970, especially in the 30s to 50s. Pinups illustrated everything from advertising for the full gamut of products, to illustrations for magazine articles, book covers whether romance, fantasy, pulp and other genres, to magazine covers (all kinds, including all of the major ones), to billboards, to the sides of WWII airplanes, and so on. Calendars, of course, were the biggest selling and most prolific form for pinups.
These talented artists produced many other forms of art, including photography, fine art paintings (landscapes, portraits, etc.), commercial illustrations of all stripes, etc. Many of the most iconographic images of the 20th century commercial world were produced by these talented men and women, from the Coppertone girl, the Quaker Oats man, the Coca-Cola Santa Claus, to the Bruce Jenner Wheaties box, among many others. They produced much art for Hollywood, from portraits of stars to movie posters (e.g., The Maltese Falcon). One of them painted a presidential portrait which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
It is much of this non-pinup art, along with many of the pinup & glamour images described in the text but not included, that I long to see. In many cases, due to copyright issues, the most famous images by these artists are not included. While understandable, it is a sad comment on the US copyright situation. Inclusion of those images in a book like this can only increase the value of these images by increasing exposure of them to new generations.
I also understand why none of the non-pinup or glamour art is included. This already large book would need to be even larger or would have to include fewer images which constitute the actual subject of the book. While a fully justifiable trade-off, for reasons of permissions for use to size of book and what is included, I still would like to see some of the iconic images which are described but not shown.
At the time this book was written only Alberto Vargas had received the full treatment of a monograph representing his career and work. Hopefully many more of these talented artists will receive their due soon.
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