Friday, February 22, 2008

Book Review: The Great American Pin-Up

I stopped by the bookstore this evening on the way back from a fish fry dinner at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit. My intention was to buy a book on DNA. No luck with that but I did pick up a book and a magazine while I was there.

I found the most wonderful book on the "Bargain Books" shelf. The Great American Pin-Up by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meilsel. I was fascinated and just had to buy it. For $9.99 how could I pass it up?
This book tells the tale of a genre as utterly American as the paintings of Edward Hopper, describing its origins and development in detail and showcasing the most important artists. With over 900 illustrations, The Great American Pin-Up is one of the first comprehensive studies of the genre to appear anywhere.
The illustrations are just gorgeous. And all the text in the book is written in English, German, and French. The book begins with Author's Notes, A Historical Commentary, an article on the fine art of illustration, and an article about the popularity of pin-up illustrations and where they were found in American culture. The remainder of the book is divided by artist with several examples of each artist's pin-up illustrations (1920-1980).

The illustrations in this book are definitely not G rated. As a matter of fact, I had a hard time finding one to include here that wouldn't offend anyone. I finally settled for the cover illustration. I'll probably use some of the illustrations in my personal scrapbooking. They would make such great period elements to include with some of my old photos. The colors are vibrant and lively, and oh yes, the ladies are lovely!

I also bought the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of ancestry magazine. This is the special research issue with tips on researching various ethnic groups. My friend Ceil Jensen has an article in it on Polish genealogy and Lisa Alzo (COG contributor) has one on Slovak genealogy.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try again for that book on DNA...