Pin-up artworks celebrated in new Taschen book

Check out classic pin-up art from the 1920s to 70s - plus some wonderful behind-the-scenes photos.

Pin-up artwork exists in the strange, beguiling place. Despite being based around idealised imagery of women, there's an innocence and fun to the form - at least when done well - that keeps it on the right side of sexy/sexist.

Taschen's new book, The Art of Pin-up, brings together some of the best work in the field from 1920 to 1970. The book includes a large number of scans of the original paintings, many photographed at the Brown & Bigelow Company, the world’s largest archive of vintage pin-up calendars.

There are 10 in-depth profiles of artists including the form's big names - Alberto Vargas, George Petty and Gil Elvgren - plus work from 85 more.

The XL format (29x40cm), hardback version costs £135. More affordable versions will follow.

Read on to see artwork featured in The Art of Pin-up.

This 1943 cover artwork for Esquire magazine by Alberto Vargas is based around colours of the US Air Force.

© the Max Vargas Collection

The book includes many fascinating behind-the-scenes photos. While obviously staged, this photo shows Zoe Mozert painting actress Jane Russell for a poster for The Outlaw.

Advertisement. Article continues below

This painting is also by Zoe Mozert. Pin-up artworks with this level of nudity are relatively rate, but the artist has used traditional portraiture techniques and posing to maintain a sense of innocence - the end result being less sexual than most fully-clothed Pin-up works. 

This painting is from the Mitchell Mehdy Collection.