This rare surviving pastel calendar illustration by Zoe Mozert was created for The Brown & Bigelow Calendar Company in 1942 and published with the title Sweet Dreams. Working in a dramatic art deco light and shadow style, a nude model (likely the artist herself) is lit by candlelight as she prepares to blow the flame out.
The artist kept this pastel with her for much of her life and we acquired it recently from a family that knew Zoe well and lived next door to her following her retirement to Sedona, Arizona. Shortly after submitting this work in 1942, Zoe reportedly stormed into the offices of Brown & Bigelow to reclaim the pastel. Feeling that male staff artists like Earl Moran and Rolf Armstrong were getting preferential treatment and better placement in the yearly calendar lines, she told the company that "if you are not going to promote or market this pastel it does not belong in your possession," though she likely used more colorful language. Once she took the work back, she removed the Brown & Bigelow mark and the original published signature, and later resigned and dated the work Zoe Mozert '42. In keeping with the artist's high spirited personality, it's worth noting that this pastel was one of a number of works traded to Zoe's Sedona neighbor--a prominent plastic surgeon--in exchange for a face lift.
The work is handsomely framed and properly lined behind glass in a gorgeous silver gallery frame. A vintage Brown & Bigelow print of Sweet Dreams is included in the sale.