This delicately rendered original signed Pearl Frush watercolor pin up illustration titled “Miss Gulf Coast,” was created for the 1947 Aqua Tour Series of bathing beauty images for the Gerlach-Barklow Calendar Company of Joliet, Illinois. Pearl Frush was a prolific and talented female artist that was active during the 1940s and 50s and worked primarily out of Chicago. Painting is silk-matted and framed behind glass in a gorgeous wide profile museum quality gallery frame, signed lower right and verso is notated with usage publication text.
A companion painting of “Miss Gulf Coast” shown below from this same series by Pearl Frush “Miss Nassau” was sold at auction 2/18/2010 for $35,850.00, showing how in demand pin-up images by the artist are.
Pearl Frush was one the twentieth century’s leading female pin-up illustrators, and worked steadily with many of the USA’s premiere calendar companies. She was adept at creating life-like illustrations using pastel, gouache and watercolors.
Born in Iowa, she initially enrolled in art classes in New Orleans, with further training in Philadelphia and New York, Before eventually studying at the Chicago Art institute under Charles Schroeder. Her first studio was opened in the early 40s, at a time when Vargas was only just reaching the masses through Esquire. The attention to detail on Frush’s artwork was often much more intricate than that of similar artists, lending an almost photo-realist quality to some of her work.
By the 50s, she was one of the top female pinup artists, and as often seems to be the case when an artist excelled during this period, she came to the attention of Brown and Bigelow. During her time working for them, she created a hanger calendar for release in 1956.