A striking in technique light and shadow in composition rare surviving original pastel on illustration board by Earl MacPherson created in the 1940s for a patriotic pin up brochure with text on how to survive an enemy military air raid and subsequent blackout. We will be selling all of the pastels from this important commissioned homeland wartime “Blackout Brochure.” This was a cheeky, lighthearted morale boosting effort making great use of double entendre and the talents of MacPherson to fight fear during World War II.
A well realized early example by this gifted and prolific artist that really captures the brazenly erotic side of pin-up art. The patriotic WWII usage makes this a major offering. This image specifically on the brochure offered practical advice for home owners on how to put out fires caused by Incendiary Bombs with text that read
“To tame Incendiary Bombs
it takes a lot of sand –
You’ll find it pays to always have
a good supply on hand.”
Included below are other printed images from this multi-paneled fold-out World War Two blackout brochure for which this pastel was commissioned.
Upon graduation of high school in Oklahoma, Macpherson went to Los Angeles and studied at the Chouinard School of Art. In 1929 he began to work at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu painting portraits for rich guests. By 1939 he opened his own studio in Hollywood and started to paint pin-up girl portraits of Earl Carroll Vanities Show Girls.
In 1941 he painted a pin-up illustration for the Shaw-Barton Calendar Company and it would become so successful that Lucky Strike cigarettes wanted to reproduce it for its 1942 calendar. Brown & Bigelow was interested on his work and in 1942 the company hired MacPherson who became very famous thanks to his “Artist’s Sketch Pad” in which he painted a central pin-up figure surrounded by some pencil delineations that showed the same girl in different poses.