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.