An iconic and rare surviving pin-up painting by Ben-Hur Baz which was published as a calendar with the title Maid In Muskegon. The image shows a strawberry blonde hot number seductively posed in a strapless bikini ala Marilyn Monroe. This artist did several pin-ups very closely based on the notorious Hollywood blonde bombshell, but it is unlikely that Marilyn actually ever sat for Baz. The title plays off of a line of pin up images Earl Moran created as exclusive advertising for the American Hammond Piston Ring Company on behalf of Brown & Bigelow. This series, called Maid In Baltimore in an homage to American Hammond’s base of operation, always featured a model in a yellow swimsuit–and many featured a young Norma Jeane Baker who sat frequently for Earl Moran during her Blue-Book modeling days before her metamorphosis into Marilyn Monroe. This gouache on board is a recent Erie Pennsylvania estate find, the painting has been linen-lined and nicely framed under glass.
Ben-Hur Baz was a gifted pin-up and glamour artist who became well known in the late 1940s and early 1950s for his association with Esquire magazine. Beginning in 1946, he painted pin-ups for that publication’s Gallery of Glamour and later contributed to their calendars and monthly centerfolds as well. Painting is in a fine state of conservation and handsomely framed and linen lined and ready to enjoy.
Born in Mexico in 1906, Baz was extremely prolific. Aside from pin-up and Glamour art, he provided story illustrations to mainstream magazines, worked on various national advertising campaigns, and was a successful paperback novel cover artist.