This original pin-up calendar painting by Art Frahm appeared in 1952 under the title Spare? and nows lives in pop culture infamy as one of the artist’s “Embarrassment Series” images. In this oil on canvas painting a startled pretty but hapless young blonde bowls a frame and loses her undergarments much to the delight of the other male bowlers. This is one of the most popular and reproduced images from the oftentimes wacky world of calendar pin-ups. This painting was previously in the famed collection of Charles Martignette. Spare? was reproduced as figure 409 in The Great American Pin-Up by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, Taschen Books, 1996. The painting remains in a fine state of conservation; modestly framed and ready to hang with a published vintage calendar print included in the sale.
Frahm is best remembered for his “Embarrassment Series” of cheesecake images in which gleefully conceived, fresh-faced young wives trying to make their way through the world have found themselves caught with their underpants down while boarding buses, dropping off the mail, and bowling, just to name a few. The artist’s name has become synonymous with lighthearted cheesecake, and this title is easily one of the most iconic offerings by the artist and in the whole pin-up genre specifically.