David Wright And The Pin Up

lookThe genre of classic
Pin Up Art can be a
tricky thing to define,

One man’s pin up is
another man’s high art–
— or another’s pornography.

Maybe it can be all three
at once sometimes,
I dunno.davidwright

I think it boils down to what you like,
and what you’re interested in.

All one asks,
I guess,
is a sense that the artist is bringing
one or several of the wonderful
qualities of femininity,
alive to a canvas.

to me,
is the mark of ana1
outstanding pin up artist.

Many of the readers of the
Muscleheaded Blog are going
to be familiar with the work
of the masters of American pin ups,

Gil Elvgren,
Zoe Mozert,
George Petty,
Earl Moran,
and Fritz Willis —

One of my favorite vintage coaxme
pin up artists wasn’t an
American, though–

He was a Brit,
by the name of David Wright.

And if you’ve been around
for a while,
you’ve seen a lot of his art
right here on the Muscleheaded Blog.

And it’s not just because
he loved to draw women in lingerie.

that’s a part of the allure.phones

Yow, is it.

David Wright was born
into a family of artists,
in London on December 12, 1912.

Both of Wright’s parents were
recognized painters,
as well as his uncle,

…… and upon the death of
his father in 1925, David went
to work in Gilbert Wright’s studio.

His Uncle Gilbert was
an assistant art director,david
an excellent artist in his own right,
and worked for an illustrated
British newspaper
called ‘The Graphic’,

which featured articles
and art from
well known people like:
George Eliot,
Henry Woods,
and Hubert Von Herkomer —

Vincent Van Gogh was a patron
and supporter of the publication,dw

which was in direct competition
with the very popular
‘Illustrated London News’.

Young David found his niche
doing illustrations for The Graphic,

…..as well as taking commissions
for the various women’s
fashion magazines popular at the time.

In 1936, he met and married a lady
who would become his muse
and most popular model —

Miss Esme Little.dw3

1939 brought war to the British Isles —

Supporting soldier morale
became an important
concern for publications –

reminding the men overseas
what they were fighting to defend at home-

and, David’s talent and considerable
background in fashion art would
now be applied to that job —

The high society magazine ‘Sketch’,
another extremely popular publication
that featured the work of such writers as:wright5

Agatha Christie
and Nora Hopper –

asked Wright to draw a series of
full color sensual illustrations
of beautiful women for the
magazine starting with the
January 1941 issue.

Most of these images were
ladies in partial dress or lingerie,
(many modeled by Esme–
a beautiful lady, to be sure,
– see images 1, 6, 9, 10, et al )

…. and were not particularly explicit,davidwright
as far as revealing nudity was concerned…

but they were almost immediately
a hit with servicemen in Britain,

and then, eventually in the United States, too–

A contemporary British source claimed that they:

“adorned practically every
military mess, bunker, dormitory
or club room in the country”.

Despite having been rejected
for service in the R.A.F.,
and then drafted into
Army service as a
driving instructor,

Wright continued to draw
his artworks for ‘Sketch’….

…… by the end of the war,
they had published over
170 of his pieces,
including a ‘Sketch’ cover.

When you look at these works,

it’s very easy to
recognize his style.

Other times,
it’ll come as a bit of a surprise –
as if he’s been holding back on you,

— and suddenly unleashes a look
you haven’t seen before.

Diverse opportunities for
commercial success really
came for David after the war…

After it ended in 1945,
David expanded his art,
sensual and otherwise,
for various other
publications, including:
and Men Only.

There was a strong demand
for cartoonists at that time,
and Wright found himself
drawing comic strips —

….. and soon became famous for
a popular series in the ‘Daily Mail’
called “Carol Day”….1946

This strip is considered by many
as the first of many ‘soap opera’ comic
to gain acceptance in newspaper
funnies-pages worldwide,

…… and Wright continued to work
on it until his death in 1967.

It is the artworks that David Wright
drew for ‘Sketch’ during
the period of 1941-1945–

(this series was dubbed
‘David Wright’s Lovelies’),

and those he created shortly after,

for which he is mostly appreciated
by pin up fans, though —-

They still look stunning —

as sensual, stylish, and fresh today,

………. despite having been
created almost 75 years ago.

This is part of the magic of his art —

He had a wonderful ability to express
the timeless femininity
and alluring beauty of davidwright1
the women in his canvases —

True to his vision,
and also very true to the
charm of his models.

I sincerely believe,
and hope,
that such things will never
lose their appeal or popularity.







3 thoughts on “David Wright And The Pin Up

  1. I love Mr. Wright’s style! His work has such a dreamy, romantic feel…at least to me! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

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