Friday, March 28, 2014

Shirley Houser and the After-Hours Shakedown

Just a hint at the methods used by paperback and magazine artists of the 1950s and 1960s. This is but one example, and more will follow as they are found. It's no surprise that many pinup/glamour models were in-demand for artists of the era (if they make a hit in a photo, then they should in a painting, right?), with babes like Diane Webber, Betty Brosmer, and the unknown but prolific Barbara Nichols, all lending their dimensions for adoption by the painter's palette. Here, Shirley Houser makes her mark. Houser was by no means a popular model, but clearly had the right stuff for the job. The art on the paperback looks like it could be the work of Chiriaka, but it's an often imitated style, so an exact detail is fraught with possible inaccuracy, but I'll stab. Photos of Houser were taken by Bernard (presumed "Bernard of Hollywood") for VUE. *Pickup a copy of the VUE - you'll be surprised by Candy Barr.
Shakedown Strip - Louis Malley
Avon Books T-394, c. 1958
Vue: America's Photo Digest - v11n5, Sept. 1958
Shirley Houser (front cover model)
- likeness used for cover of "Shakedown Strip"
by Louis Malley (Avon Books T-394)
Images generated by the author, using items from the author's personal library.

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