Anniversary Post: George Petty

George PettyOn this day in 1894, the great pin-up artist George Petty was born. You certainly know his art, because it copies of it were used to decorate planes used in World War II — most notably the Memphis Belle. His father was a successful photographer of women — so maybe it was in the blood. Or maybe seeing dad’s nudes had an environmental impact on the young man.

He is known for having created a kind of iconic figure: the Petty Girl. It sounds sexist: the women in the images have smaller than normal heads and longer and normal legs. I don’t especially see the smaller head. But the ridiculously long legs are hard to miss. These were created for Esquire magazine when it had centerfolds — the predecessors of those later found in Playboy. I assume they were thought rather racy in their day. Today, they look downright homey.

All right, not quite:

Petty Girl

Happy birthday George Petty!

4 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: George Petty

  1. What’s with her hands? It looks like either she’s related to a chicken or it’s part of a root system.

    • That’s very funny! It does look like he got rid of the other fingers. It’s always telling when distorted images of women become iconic to men. Is that what we like? I don’t know. Now that you mention it, though, this one is really creepy. The lower torso looks like her upper body is exploding out of it. It does have a plant-like look to it.

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