Welcome to the Art History Project, brought to you by your Community Relations Team on dA.
We hope to bring you interesting articles about the origins of the Art you love today.
The History of Pinup & Glamour Photography
Part of the incredible allure of such shots make the genre so flexible and useful for advertising that it has become a staple part of the products of bygone times and the icons of fondly remembered memorabilia.
Glamour Photography is ever being redefined by the times and each decade has had something different to offer to shape the style.
1920s and 30s - The Golden Age of Illustration
1940s - Pinup's Heyday
They were depictions of very beautiful women with a sensual and ingenuous air. Even the government of the United States gave pin-up photos and illustrations as a present to their soldiers during the World War II. Pictures of Betty Grable, one of the most popular glamour photography models, were carried to war by hundreds of soldiers. Specifically, Glamour photography from the war era featured models either fully clothed or wearing swimsuits.
The pin-up look is very precise. Pin-up girls are very feminine. Their lips use to be paint in red, their eyelashes are very defined, using false eyelashes in the photographs. The eyebrows are very pronounced, skin colour uses to be very fair, and hair uses to be wavy or softly curled.
The pin-up poses are very suggestive, in casual attitudes, always surrounded with glamour, using fetishisms like women dressed as sailor, waitress, nurse..
1950s - Bettie Page & Marilyn Monroe
When she died she left behind her nothing but the wondrous shadow of her image that even in the most sexual photographs, including some completely nude, there was still a quality of innocence. Good Marilyn Monroe art will always express this quality.
She has become the ultimate blonde bombshell and perhaps the thing that makes her so amazing is that no one can quite put their finger on why.
1960s and 70s - Playboy era
1980s and 90s - "Sex Sells"
2000s onwards - 'Modern' Pinups
And does nude = Glamour?
Absolutely not - in fact quite the contrary, the more modern types of artwork tend to predominantly echo their more traditional origins, opting for the subtle tease, carefully placed hands or props and the hint of something further.
Pinup specifically keeps the styling, the soft waves in the hair, bodies and faces are usually in profile, rather than front on. Modern pinup models, with their tasteful yet alluring outfits and an aesthetic that embodies style and sophistication, stand out among the seedier aspects of today’s erotica.
Similarly Glamour is a very groomed look. Nothing is left to chance and finished to a high level of styling, sophistication and beauty.
Questions for the Reader..
- What does Pinup & Glamour mean to you?
- Do you have a preference of the time period, or do you enjoy all that the varying decades have to offer?
- Who is your favorite Pinup?