The Pin-up Files

Gil Elvgren pin-up artist | gallery 4/9


Having a studio located in his home enabled Elvgren to work more efficiently eliminating commuting and other time-consuming intrusions on his day

At work with model on "Jill Needs Jack" in 1950. As soon as they moved into their new home, Gil began building a studio in the attic. Fitted with overhead windows that allowed the northern light to flood his easel, the studio was completed within months.

Gil Elvgren pinup artist

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In 1951 his salary arrangements with Brown & Bigelow had changed. From his previous rate of $1,000 per canvas, he was now paid approximately $2,500 per painting, with a projected yearly output of twenty-four subjects. With the supplementary income from fees for his magazine illustrations and numerous national advertising accounts, Elvgren was able to move his family from downtown Chicago to the suburb of Winnetka. Elvgren soon hired a full-time assistant who helped light and photograph the models, built sets with various props to portray different subjects and prepared Elvgren's paints and tools. Having a studio located in his home enabled Elvgren to work more efficiently, since he thus eliminated commuting and other time-consuming intrusions on his day.

After settling in the new house in Winnetka, sometime around 1953 Elvgren and his family went to Florida on vacation. Almost immediately upon arrival, the artist fell in love with this popular vacation spot. For one who had lived with snow and ice for so long, the clean blue sky, the tropical winds, and the swaying palm trees were just too good to be true.

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