A colorful fresh to the market signed and inscribed pastel by Rolf Armstrong showcasing Jewel Flowers, his most iconic model, muse, closest friend and confidant. Flowers is pictured as an exotic island girl with dark skin and a colorful red Lei, and Jewel’s laser beam smile is prominently featured, showcasing her allure as America’s girl next door. Artwork has never before been on the market and was in the South Carolina estate of the model for many years before finding its way into a private collection. This has been signed by the artist and inscribed to “Missy”, which was Armstrong’s pet name for Flowers. In original wood frame under glass with original sealed backing and South Carolina dated 1956 framing label.
There is a precipitous break between Armstrong’s pre and post-Jewel work. After 1940, his pinups were more carefree, the costumes more casual, and the bodies significantly curvier. Partially, it reflected the change of taste—nothing was more appealing than the girl next door during wartime—but there was no question that Jewel had become a muse to Rolf, as well as dear friend, personal secretary and confidant. The two were so close that Jewel vacationed with Rolf, sailing to Tahiti and Hawaii, where she spent time with Armstrong’s long-time friend Jimmy Cagney. When Jewel got married and set up house, Rolf gave her recipe tips and doted on her son. This pastel serves as a testament to their fraternity.