A rare and outstanding situational pin up painting used as calendar art for The Louis F. Dow Calendar Co., circa 1940’s-50’s. Image is playfully titled Snowshoes Alask-Ann. This was purchased by a gentleman the day he got back from the Viet Nam War in the early 1970’s. The Dow Calendar Company rented a downtown Saint Paul hotel and sold off their paintings and original calendar art at $50.00 a painting!
This is a major find and has never been on the market since it was purchased thirty years ago. Great composition with outdoors man/sportsman cabin art appeal (note the sled dog team running through the artic white background). The Eskimo aeshetic was seldom explored in the wacky world of pin-up calendar art.
Here is some additional biographical information on Vaughan Bass from The Pin-Up Files:
Bass appears to have been strongly influenced by the circle of artists that grew up around Haddon Sundblom. He was a Chicago artist who began his pin-up career working for the Louis F. Dow Company in St. Paul during the mid-to-late 1930’s.
Bass created his own pin-ups for for Brown and Bigelow, but he was then employed by the Louis F. Dow Company as a “paint-over’ artist, commissioned to redo the work that Gil Elvgren had previously created for the company. Dow was motivated by economic interests, hoping to earn more money from such “redesigned” Elvgrens.
Fortunately, Bass was a skilled and sensitive artist. He strove to leave the faces, hands, skin, and other key areas of the Elvgrens essentially untouched. However, he occasionally had to repaint an arm or hand because it had to be repositioned to accommodate a new overpainted image. Bass’ painting style was often compared to that of Elvgren, Buell, and Ballantyne. He worked in oil on canvas in almost the same sizes as the others.
In the 1950’s, the versatile Bass did a series of spectacular oils depicting wrestling scenes that clearly demonstrated his ability to be comfortable with any subject matter. He created the “Wonder Bread Girl” in the 1950’s using his daughter Nancy as his model. His portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in the Smithsonian institution in Washington D.C.