I want to introduce you to someone who you may have seen appearing on my blog from time to time. This is Hilda:
Hilda is the creative brain child of Duane Bryers, who was a commercial artist and western theme painter from the 1950s onward. He painted around 250 of the Hilda pin ups which have been featured in Brown and Bigelow calenders since the 1960s. She has also been featured on playing cards, drink glasses and prints.
Hilda is a wonderfully playful curvy redhead who is charmingly goofy without spoofing the fact that she is a thick chick. I have been desperately searching for a calender or a collected book of Bryers' Hilda prints (if you know of one in print please let me know) but so far have had to settle for internet posted scans of his art.
What is amazing about Hilda is that while Bryers was painting these pin-ups, other pin-ups by other artists like Varga or George Petty were very popular. The pin-ups of other artists, however, tended to fit the thinner ideal of the 1950s bombshell (although those women were still curvier than today's beauty standard). Hilda, however, was plump and buxom. She was frequently in some adorable comical situation that made her extremely endearing while maintaining a cute attainable sexiness. Hilda is my absolutely favorite pin-up girl and while she may have not been quite as popular as Varga pin-ups, she was (and still is) popular in her own right and has certainly garnered a dedicated following of fans.
Bryers was a talented artist (I believe he is still alive but I'm not sure) who really brought the fun out of his subject. He employed plus-sized models and painted a number of the painting from memory or fantasy rather than using a model. You can find more out about Hilda and her creator at http://www.toilgirls.com/hilda.html which includes Les Toil's interview with Bryers and his collection of Hilda images. Les Toil is a talented artist as well who works with plus-size models and has collected really the only sources of information I have found about Hilda. I hope you enjoy this cute redhead as much as I do!