The B & B Girl

Artist:Rolf Armstrong
Date:1940
Medium:Pastel on illustration board
Dimensions:Sight size 28 1/2" by 40 1/2" - Framed 43 " by 54 1/2"
Condition:Excellent
Original Use:Calendar Art for Brown & Bigelow
Price:Sold
Full view of pastel

Full view of pastel

 

The artist's signature and inscription lower right

The artist's signature and inscription lower right

 

1941 large format Brown & Bigelow published calendar (included in sale)

1941 Brown & Bigelow published calendar (included in sale)

One of the finest pastel pin-up illustrations ever created by Rolf Armstrong for the Brown & Bigelow Calendar Company, this appeared in 1940 with the title "The B & B Girl". The model was Margery Crampton, Armstrong's modernist streamlined muse and frequent sitter throughout the 1930s and early 1940s. Shortly after this pastel was created, the artist started working with Jewel Flowers creating altogether more wholesome yet wildly popular pin-up images, the first of which premiered in 1941 under the title How Am I Doing?.  Titling this work The B&B Girl speaks volumes about the calendar company's respect for Armstrong--they were literally using his work as their signature--and the ubiquity of Brown & Bigelow in the lives of Americans.  That everyone would want a peek at The B & B Girl was self-evident. This is an extraordinary and grand work, featured on page 105 in the newly released Taschen history of pin up illustration, The Art of Pin-Up as a full page color plate.

Gallery framed and matted behind glass view

Gallery framed and matted behind glass view

 

Frame profile corner detail

Frame profile corner detail

After its creation in 1940, this pastel remained in Armstrong's possession until he gifted the work to a Dr. Louis in 1958, who was a close friend of both Armstrong and Jewel Flowers.  At that time, the pastel was inscribed by Armstrong with a personal dedication lower right.  A number of photographs featuring Jewel Flowers, and Lewis are included with the sale. The pastel is in a fine state of conservation, a large format published 1941 calendar is included in the sale. By all accounts just a defining example, handsomely silk matted and gallery framed behind UV glass and ready to enjoy.

The artist and model Margery Crampton with the recently competed pastel "The B & B Girl"

The artist and model Margery Crampton with the recently competed pastel "The B & B Girl"

 

Detail

Detail

 

Verso notations seen before framing

Verso notations seen before framing



 

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