Earl Moran

1893-1984 | Browse Artwork

Above: Earl Moran and a model.

Earl Moran and Brown & Bigelow

The inception of Earl Moran's vibrant career as a pin-up artist could be narrowed to 1932, when Moran signed an exclusive contract with Brown & Bigelow who eventually sold millions of calendars graced with his sensual Art Deco pin-up girls.

His studies began much earlier, first at the Chicago Art Institute and then at the famed Art Students League in Manhattan where he studied under Vincent Dumond, Robert Henri, George Bridgman and Thomas Fogarty (Norman Rockwell's teacher).

Above: Earl Moran with model circa 1933-1936

Above: A young Marilyn Monroe as photgraphed by Moran C.1948

Moran was a photographer, as well as an illustrator, which lent well in his portrait pin-ups by giving him a great knowledge of lighting and shadows.

Above: Marilyn Monroe poses for Earl Moran.

In 1940, LIFE Magazine featured Moran in their article "Speaking of Pictures" and the American audience was in awe.

Earl Moran and Marilyn Monroe

A young model named Norma Jean Dougherty approached this famed artist in an attempt to pose for a painting. For four years Moran painted Marilyn Monroe and they created a lasting friendship.

In this collection, I am offering perhaps the most important pastel from his work with Marilyn Monroe, the large original 1949 "Spanish Girl", a masterful light and shadow composition of this not yet commercially realized American Icon.

Earl Moran was one of the century's most important pin-up artist's and a true star in the pin-up world.

Above: Moran posed with Marilyn Monroe Spanish Girl Pastel

Above: Marilyn Monroe as posed by Earl Moran

Above: Fresh faced pin-up model Norma Jean

Above: Morans pin-up model in a relaxed pose

Above: Sepia photo of Monroe posed as " The Spanish Girl "

Above: Brown & Bigelow conference room, lined with Moran paintings

Contact Grapefruit Moon Gallery