The Petty Girl

George Petty

Jun 29 – Jul 26, 1985

George Petty

"Oh yuh would, would yuh?", 1935

Description


In 1933, the first issue of Esquire magazine carried the first two Petty Girl cartoons, which were an immediate success. By 1935, while still producing cartoons for every issue of Esquire, George Petty had acquired large advertising accounts like Old Gold Cigarettes, Jantzen and the Ice Capades.


At first, the Petty Girl was the darling of the fraternity men. Then she became the most famous pinup of World War II. In the 1940's, due to an economic dispute with Esquire, the Vargas girl (based on the Petty Girl) replaced the Petty Girl in the magazine. In the 50's, more explicit and hardcore pornography began to make the Petty Girl look dated. She did survive and make infrequent appearances in one form or another up until 1973.


The Petty Girl has become true Americana, and perhaps this is a proper moment to evaluate her impact and meaning in our culture. This retrospective contains approximately 100 original works in watercolors, airbrush and collages by George Petty.

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George Petty

"C-A-L-L me back in T-E-N M-I-N-U-T-E-S", 1938

George Petty

"C-A-L-L me back in T-E-N M-I-N-U-T-E-S", 1938

George Petty

True, 1947

George Petty

"Oh yuh would, would yuh?", 1935

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