This good girl art original pastel exemplifies the beauty and personality which kept pin up and glamour a mainstay of calendar imagery even after illustration began giving way to photography in popularity. This features a fresh faced brunette beauty queen envisioned by the leading female pin-up illustrator Pearl Frush and published by Gerlach-Barklow of Joliet Illinois. It was customary for calendar salesmen to reward premiere advertising accounts with original illustrations as incentive to keep advertising with the firm. This was given to the Robberson Steel Company of Oklahoma City and is in a pristine state of conservation in the original wood frame behind glass.
As one of the top three female pin-up artists in the calendar art market at mid-century, Pearl Frush readily commanded the respect of the art directors, publishers, sales managers, and printers with whom she worked.
Frush was born in Iowa and moved to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi as a child. She began drawing as soon as she could hold; when she was ready for formal studies, she enrolled in art instruction courses in New Orleans. After additional training in Philadelphia and New York, Frush joined her family in Chicago, where she studied at the Chicago Art Institute under Charles Schroeder.
Frush opened her first studio in Chicago in the early 1940s. While she accepted freelance jobs, she also worked at the studio of Haddon Sundblom, Johnston, and White. By 1943, she had become one of the Gerlach-Barklow Calendar Company’s most important artists, creating a string of popular series: Liberty Belles, Sweethearts of Sports, Girls of Glamour and Glamour Round the Clock. In 1947, her Aquatour series, a dozen pin-ups all located in aquatic settings, broke all sales records. By 1955, Frush had become a “hot property” in the calendar-publishing business, so it was only natural that Brown & Bigelow should seek her out. A year later, the firm published its first Frush pin-up.
Her girls were wholesome and fresh, shapely but never overtly sexual. Somehow they were able to look both like movie stars and like the girls-next-door.
She sometimes signed her paintings with her married name “Mann”. Her renderings were always done with great precision, capturing every nuance of a subject in an almost photo-realist technique.