Recently, I interviewed Jack Raglin, an Enoch Bolles collector. After talking with Jack, I've become a fan of Bolles' work. Since I didn't have room to feature all of the examples Jack provided for the interview, I thought I'd feature another of Jack's amazing Bolles pieces.
For those unfamiliar, Enoch Bolles (1883-1976) is among the earliest and most widely circulated glamor illustrators. He worked as cover artist and illustrator for a variety of magazines, including Film Fun, Judge, and Screen Romances. Throughout his career, he lived in the shadow of illustrators like Alberto Vargas. Some of his work, such as this 1937 Zippo ad, the company's first, is often mistakenly attributed to Vargas. Bolles name is misspelled in the ad, and soon after publication, the wonderful illustration began to appear without any attribution, and many wrongly assumed Vargas was the artist.
Health issues (some say psychological) essentially ended Bolles magnificent career in 1943. But he did continue to paint commissioned portraits throughout the remainder of his life. There is some controversy surrounding his later life and the nature of his mental state. Thanks to collectors like Raglin, who have devoted themselves to collecting Bolles' work and researching his career, Bolles is beginning to emerge from the shadows of more well-known pin-up artists like Vargas.