Passion For Art

>>>Arnold Armitage

Arnold Armitage was a British-born artist and illustrator, best known for his work with pin-up art. He moved to the United States around 1925 and settled in Hollywood, CA, working for the Foster and Kleiser Company, which produced billboards. During the 1930s, he developed a reputation as a designer specializing in billboards, and he designed many of these for American corporations. About 1940, Armitage began a series of “pretty girl” paintings for the calendar market. While not strictly pin-ups, these works were very reminiscent of the work of Gil Elvgren. Armitage’s pretty girls were well-received in both the United States and England.

Armitage favoured wholesome country girls – glowing blonde hair, apple cheeks, gently scooped neckline (suggesting but not stressing shapeliness), plus the rustic fence and flower garden at her lap, all add up to a romantic, bucolic fantasy. The country girl sub-genre was frequently touched upon by Elvgren himself, but Art Frahm that split personality who specialized in idealized prom dates and girls with their underpants around their ankles joined Armitage in presenting wholesome, attractive country gals in less than overtly sexual poses and situations.

Armitage’s girls appeared both in the USA and Great Britain. England’s first major pin-up artist was Sketch magazine’s Raphael Kirchner during World War 1, followed by the American Merlin Enabnit in World War 2. Lambert, Van Jones and Archie Dickens are other prominent British pin-up artists whose work has seldom crossed the Atlantic. However, it is noted that he was known by English and American audiences only by his last name.

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