An electric 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.
This well realized light and shadow early example by this gifted and prolific artist 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 pets with text that read:
“Your Pet should be upon a leash
if blackouts come your way.
Just comfort it beside you
so it’s not inclined to stray”
Included below are other printed examples 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.