The Art of Margaret Brundage

readAnybody who has seen
and appreciated the works
of the classic pin-up artists
like Gil Elvgren,
George Petty,
Enoch Bolles, etc,
might get to thinking
that their styles
were the only ones
popular during that period —

and I think even collectors
grow to have certain expectationsa1
of what defines vintage ‘pin-up’
or ‘alluring’ art , I guess….

one discovers the work of
Margaret Brundage.

In that instant,
you realize:

‘ which one of these things
is not like the others ‘ —

Technically, of course,

Brundage is most remembered
as a ‘pulp illustrator’:a1a1a

She was best known
for her cover art
on the pulp magazine
“Weird Tales” —

and for her “True Crime” covers.

During her artistic peak,
between 1930 and 1940,
she created over 50 covers for them–

— being paid less than $100 for each of whipthem.

Her style stood out
for both it’s color
and it’s erotic subject matter —

The mayor of New York City
at the time, Fiorello LaGuardia,

was so incensed by
a Margaret Brundage cover in 1938,

that he pushed through
a new ‘decency’ ordinance,

— restricting what
newsstands could display.

Ya know, bat
to protect the public morality
and all that.

One can see how different
it would have looked to
late 1930’s audiences, I suppose.

Many of us today look at her art
as part pulp, part-pin up…

And she has developed
a whole new generation of fans,
who appreciate her work,

— no matter how you categorize it.

One of her canvases recently sold ncese
for over $30,000 at auction.

Margaret was a trail blazer:

Artists like:
Olivia De Berardinis,
Virgil Finlay,
Frank Frazetta,
and many others
were inspired by her work.

Miss Brundage went to
art school with Walt Disney,
at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts
— between 1921 -1923 —

…. and worked mostly
in pastel chalk on canvas.margaret

She had a rather hard-scrabble up-bringing,
married young,
and was never what you would consider
well-paid as an artist.

Still, she lived what most people
would call a ‘bohemian’ lifestyle,
was a human rights and labor activist,

and was a leading light
in the 1930’s New York counter-culture.

she created some very distinctive, brundages
beautiful art-works.

She still is a legend in certain circles.

So, anyway–

Here’s just a couple
of Miss Brundage’s most unusual pieces,

—– although,

considering she was the chief artist
for Weird Tales from 1933 to 1937,

I guess maybe
there’s nothing all that strange after all.





8 thoughts on “The Art of Margaret Brundage

  1. Paloma says:

    shes still a favorite …. especially bat woman!

  2. dievca says:

    Thank you! I, very much, like her work.

  3. Her life and work is amazing! And she is beautiful! I’m so glad she paved the way in so many areas!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  4. jillianmrks says:

    Wow! These are gorgeous works. I love the bio, Chris. Thanks so much for putting this together 🙂

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