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Sexy Books: TASCHEN Books prepares for release of massive 'The Art of Pin-Up'

'The Art of Pin-Up' is due out this month, September 2014, from TASCHEN Books
'The Art of Pin-Up' is due out this month, September 2014, from TASCHEN Books
Sample page from 'The Art of Pin-Up," courtesy TASCHEN Books

On Tuesday TASCHEN Books announced the release of 546-page extra-large format collectible art book chronicling The Art of Pin-Up, edited by Dian Hanson and written by Sarahjane Blum and Louis Meisel. The book prominently features the work of 10 artists, mostly produced between 1920 and 1970, with another 85 artists represented, and is being billed as "the most complete compendium of pin-up artists ever compiled."

TASCHEN's 'The Art of Pin-Up' is due out this month
courtesy TASCHEN Books

Brace your coffee table, because this $200 hardcover softcore tome is 11.4 x 15.6 inches, with text in English, French, and German.


Formidably sized, The Art of Pin-up is an impressive book that will be coveted by casual fans as well as hardcore pin-up collectors. The top 10 artists are profiled in depth. Each chapter opens with a tipped-in reproduction of an original calendar or magazine cover by that artist. The reproduction quality of the paintings, pastels, and preparatory sketches that follow—largely sourced from the original art— invites the viewer to trace the brush strokes, while the exquisite period calendars, vintage prints, and original model photos document the artists’ creative process. Much of these ephemera were photographed on-site at the historic Brown & Bigelow Company, home to the world’s largest archive of vintage pin-up calendars.

Pin-up art has become a staple of the TASCHEN collection, with recent titles including History of Pin-up Magazines Vol. 1-3, a re-issue of the long out of print The Great American Pin-Up, and collections of the work of artists including Gil Elvgren.

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In the 15 years since TASCHEN released The Great American Pin-up, international interest in this distinctly American art form has increased exponentially. Paintings by leading artists such as Alberto Vargas, George Petty, and Gil Elvgren that sold for $ 2,000 in 1996 are going for $ 200,000 and more today. Pin-up: drawings, paintings and pastels of an idealized female face and figure intended for public display, was produced between 1920 and 1970, for use on calendars, and magazine covers and centerfolds. The majority of original paintings were discarded by publishers and calendar companies after printing, making the surviving art that much more precious. Today it’s popularity is huge, and ripe for an equally huge and truly comprehensive collector’s edition.

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