A new twist on a classic art form.
The two items above serve as interesting examples of how long Technicolor lithographs were manufactured in the U.S. We've seen and shared examples from as far back as 1952, but the two above feature Pamela Zinszer, who modeled and acted during the early 1970s and was a Playboy centerfold in March 1974. We've gotten used to calling these Technicolor lithos because of the printing process, but we can't be sure ones as late as these used that method. We'll stick with the terminology, though. See plenty more Technicolor lithos by clicking the keywords just below.
There's no freer feeling than fresh air on your... um, than fresh air.
Today we have one of our favorite items from the mid-century era—a Technicolor lithograph with an acetate overlay. We've shared a number of these. The star here is Bonnie Logan, model and stage performer. She was of a more provocative variety than usual for her time, which you can get a sense of here and particularly here. This piece is probably from around 1960. As for our other examples, you wanna see them all? Okay, if you check this link, then this one, and follow the subsequent links from there, you'll be able to—we think—look at every one we've posted.
When the mood strikes she wastes no time.
Amazingly, it's been four years since we shared a Technicolor lithograph with a cellophane overlay. It isn't because we don't have any. It's because we have scans of the overlays, but not the underlays. Is that a word? Anyway, for that reason, and because we can't identify the models, we've neglected this rare mid-century art form. But today we have one for you. A lovely but unidentified model poses for a shot titled, “Pensive Mood.” When you lift the cellophane, her underwear is peeled away and she's revealed in all her glory, as you see. The date on this is no later than 1966, which we know because we found the image as a calendar shot from that year. For a look at our other overlay lithos click this link, and follow the links in that post.
Cruising in luxury with the top down.
These Technicolor lithograph models are difficult to identify, but for today's, which is titled “At Ease” and dates from 1959, the work has been done for us. A couple of online outlets confidently state that she's Joan Torino. Now, as far as which Joan Torino—that's a little trickier. We found reference to one who was a burlesque dancer at Red Heads Burlesque Theater in Hoboken, a club that first opened during the 1930s and lasted at least until the 1960s. Same time period, same name—gotta be the same Joan, right? That's what we're going with until corrected. Oh, and incidentally, yes, we know the car was called a Gran Torino. Gran or Grand—they both fit Joan.
They won't be playing by themselves for long.
Above are two 1950s-era Technicolor lithographs featuring a pair of models with playing cards. Only the second is playing solitaire. The first seems to be spokesmodeling: “Call now and you can win a deck of enormous cards!” The first litho is called, “Ace of Hearts,” and the second, which has been retouched to the extent that it has the look of a painting, is titled, “No Cheating.” We don't know who the women are. That's true of about half the lithos we share. Occasionally, though, someone emails us with an identification, so feel free. We're always around.
Fashion accessory or rift in the space-time continuum?
These two Technicolor lithographs feature the one and only Evelyn West, model and burlesque dancer extraordinaire, bearer of interesting nicknames, and pioneer in erotic craft. The top litho is called “Soft and Lovely,” and the one where it looks like a hole has opened in the fabric of space-time is called “Cleo,” for some reason. And while we know what we're seeing in that second litho is a hat, it's weirdly and disconcertingly featureless. But whether dangerously large fashion accessory or voracious cosmic gullet, bystanders would have needed to stand well clear. It's a great shot, though. Both lithos probably date from late 1950s.
Is this an example of that pulp stuff you read all the time? Geez, it scared the pants right off me.
Above: an unknown model stars on a Technicolor lithograph titled “Solid Comfort,” which we think was printed around 1950. This has happened with the Pulp Intl. girlfriends a few times when we left an interesting book sitting around, but now they don't open them because they assume someone will be betrayed or murdered in short order. We'll try to get them to read David Dodge's To Catch a Thief. If there's such a thing as gateway drugs for crime fiction that's certainly one of them.
In another case of vintage art being shoddily repurposed for modern usage, we found this litho for sale on a few websites as a poster, which you see above. The reproduction is absolute crap, but “so many books, so little time” is a sentiment we can get behind. A book definitely makes an afternoon more enjoyable, and we'd add that a nice glass of wine is a further improvement. Which is why we always have (at least) one close by when we read. We have a lot more Technicolor lithos in the website, so just click the keywords and have a look if you're curious.
It's a woman's prerogative to change her backdrop.
Above are two Technicolor lithos of popular model Terry Higgins, who we also saw years ago in the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963. You've noticed that these two shots are from the same session, but that the background color has miraculously changed. That was common with pin-up lithographs. We suspect they did it in pre-press, rather than in the photography studio with lighting, but either way it's a neat trick. Higgins made appearances on the covers of men's magazines such as Adam (U.S.A.), Candid, Tip Top, Folies de Paris et de Hollywood, and many others. She also starred in some nudie loops and had an uncredited appearance in 1963's The Nutty Professor. The above shots are by famed lensman Ron Vogel, and date from around 1960.
You ever get the feeling the game is rigged?
Above is a 1950s Technicolor lithograph with an unknown model losing her shirt and more in a poker game. The litho is titled “Out of Luck,” and it came from the company KLM. There are about eighty of these in the site, but we have a few favorites. See if this selection doesn't grab you: here, here, and here.
I asked for a double room so we can use one bed for action, and the other for recovery.
Above is a 1960 Technicolor lithograph starring Jayne Mansfield. It's called, “Good Morning,” which we suppose it might be if you woke up with her. The shot originated from 1956 and was first used on a cover of Cabaret Quarterly. It was later used on Modern Man in 1960, Beau magazine in 1966, and even—with the background changed to pink—Mark Gabor's 1984's Illustrated History of Girlie Magazines. It probably showed up elsewhere too, and why not? It's one of Mansfield's best shots.
It's been a while since we shared one of these Technicolor lithos, so as a reminder we'll mention that they were made as a potential market replacement for the painted pin-ups of earlier years, such as those produced by Gil Elvgren, Art Frahm, and Zoe Mozert. That's why these have such painterly compositions. You can see for yourself, because we have a bunch of examples going back years, and some of them are amazing. Just click here and scroll. |
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1969—The Krays Are Found Guilty of Murder
In England, twins Ronald and Reginald Kray are found guilty of the murder of Jack McVitie. The Kray brothers had been notorious gangsters in London's East End, and for their crimes both were sentenced to life in prison, and both eventually died behind bars. Their story later inspired a 1990 motion picture entitled The Krays.
1975—Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted
British-born comic genius Charlie Chaplin, whose long and turbulent career in the U.S. had been brought to an abrupt end when he was branded a communist and denied a residence visa, is bestowed a knighthood at London's Buckingham Palace. Chaplin died two years later and even then peace eluded him, as his body was stolen from its grave for eleven weeks by men trying to extort money from the Chaplin family.
1959—Lou Costello Dies
American comedian Lou Costello, of the famous comedy team Abbott & Costello, dies of a heart attack at Doctors' Hospital in Beverly Hills, three days before his 53rd birthday. His career spanned radio and film, silent movies and talkies, vaudeville and cinema, and in his heyday he was, along with partner Abbott, one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood.
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong
, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
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