Vaughan Alden Bass

Bass appears to have been strongly influenced by the circle of artists that grew up around Haddon Sundblom. He was a Chicago artist who began his pin-up career working for the Louis F. Dow Company in St. Paul during the mid- to late-1930s.

Bass created his own pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow, but he was then employed by the Louis F. Dow Company as a "paint-over" artist, commissioned to redo the work that Gil Elvgren had previously created for the company. Dow was motivated by economic interests, hoping to earn more money from such "redesigned" Elvgrens. Fortunately, Bass was a skilled and sensitive artist: he strove to leave the faces, hands, skin, and other key areas of the Elvgren essentially untouched. However, he occasionally had to repaint an arm or hand because it had to be repositioned to accomodate a new overpainted image.

Bass' painting style was often compared to that of Elvgren, Buell, and Ballantyne. He worked in oil on canvas almost the same size as the others, ranging from 30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61 cm) to 28 x 22 inches (71.1 x 55.9 cm). In the late 1950s, the versatile Bass did a series of spectacular oils depicting wrestling scenes that clearly demonstrated his ability to be comfortable with any subject matter. He created the "Wonder Bread Girl" in the 1950s using his daughter Nancy as his model. His portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Vaughan Alden Bass bio from 'The Great American Pin-Up