George Petty created this dynamic original pin-up painting as cover art for the souvenir program for the 1946 Ice-Capades (the sixth year of its production which took place in New York City at Rockefeller Center). The image shows a modernist winged pin-up girl deftly soaring through the air on figure skates against a blue background. This particular Petty Girl was known as “Chicapet”, and the inner cover of the program suggests that she be mailed overseas to brighten the day of a serviceman stationed in Europe in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The popularity of Petty girl covers cannot be overstated. In fact, this one was so popular, it was even manufactured as a celluloid lapel pin which was sold at the show.
This work comes out of a recently unearthed New York collection that included a number of Petty Ice-Capades originals. We were fortunate enough to acquire two of the works, which had remained in private hands and institutions since their creation. Examples from this series rarely come to market. In 2010, this illustration for the cover of the 1965 program, the only example that has come on the auction market brought $16,730.00.