This radiant, fabulously large original pastel by Rolf Armstrong was created in 1941 for the Brown & Bigelow Calendar Company. Titled “Figured To Win,” this previously undocumented pastel and commissioned but undistributed calendar print incorporates two of the artist’s great loves in life; sailing and Jewel Flowers. This pastel was owned for many years by Jewel herself, who was easily Armstrong’s favorite model. Created at the artist’s summer studio in Marblehead, Massachusetts, this image was never circulated widely in earnest by Brown & Bigelow. Most likely, the decision to not publish the calendar came in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After the United States entered World War II, Armstrong’s carefree depiction of sailing and the life aqautic was no longer in keeping with the wartime urgency and associated patriotic themed pin-up images of the times, despite the obvious charm and finished luminous quality of the image.
Pastel is in perfect archived condition and is beautifully framed and lined behind U.V. glass.
We might have the only surviving printed example of this pin-up in existence, which comes framed in a presentation which accompanies the original pastel. Also included in the sale are over 20 original photograph stills and snapshots of Jewel and Armstrong frolicking as this pastel was being created.
Below are a series of the model’s own archived photographs and newspaper clippings. All are included in the purchase of this important and never before publicly available original large format pastel. On display in this material is the warmth and depth of friendship between Rolf Armstrong and his favorite pin-up model Jewel Flowers, who died of natural causes in 2006.