Rolf Armstrong

The father of the American pin-up, Armstrong came to fame in the 1920s. His use of the pastel medium spawned such famous followers as Billy De Vorss, Earl Moran and Zoe Mozert. Though he did many covers for magazines and song sheets, it was Armstrong's dazzlingly smiling, flowingly maned, supple limbed calendar girls for Brown & Bigelow that set the glamour-art standard.

Michigan born Armstrong, who studied at the famed Chicago Art Institute, contributed covers to such periodicals as College Humor, Life and Shrine Magazine. His advertising accounts included Oneida Silverware. A one-time pro boxer and devoted seaman, ruggedly handsome Armstrong was rarely seen without his yachting cap.

With a pastel palette of 3600 colors, Armstrong worked with models in his Manhattan studio, creating enormous originals (typical size: 39" by 28"), surviving examples of which are today among the most valuable pin-ups.

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