Hilda, The World’s First Plus-Size Pin-Up Girl Is Making A Comeback

Hilda, The World’s First Plus-Size Pin-Up Girl Is Making A Comeback

Hilda

Hilda, America’s forgotten pin-up star stole hearts in the 1950s. But now she’s making a comeback.

When you think about it, female beauty was pretty conventional in the 50s. There were Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor — wasp-waisted and curvy where it counts, but otherwise slim and trim. One could say it’s not that far from today’s Kardashians, JLOs and Lawrences.

However, back then there was also Hilda – the one pin-up figure that flouted the golden-era standard to massive success. A brassy redhead, she was featured in calendars from the 50s to the 80s in a variety of poses that unapologetically showed off her figure. Those calendars hung in gas stations, back offices and everywhere busy men gathered. Heck, we bet Metdaan has one hanging in their office somewhere.

These pictures were first shared by OMGfacts and we salute you for that!

Hilda

The rambunctious redhead was the creation of artist Duane Bryers, a Minnesota farm boy-turned-commercial artist, who saw a big demand for an unfilled niche. And a niche it was. Unlike Ava Gardner or Brigitte Bardot, Hilda was relatively realistically proportioned to represent the average woman. And, up until recently, she was lost in the dust of memory.

Bryers always had art on his mind. In 1937, he won a commission from his local school board to paint a mural about Minnesota’s iron mining industry. For this purpose, the school financed his trip to New York City, where he spent the next decade haunting museums and galleries. So he picked up techniques from history while working for ad agencies. Combining the two, the idea for Hilda formed in his mind.

The 1950s saw the peak of the pin-up form. In a sea of women who were all painted thin, tall and long-legged, Bryers wanted to create something different. So, he made some drawings of Hilda and took them to calendar publisher Brown & Bigelow. They reluctantly signed him for a deal, which hinged on the sales of the calendars rising above a certain level. In short – it had to sell.

Well, they didn’t drop below that level for 37 years. And all throughout that time, Bryers continued to draw picture after picture of his dream woman.

Hilda

What’s interesting is he didn’t work from a model, as many other artists did. Instead, Bryers let his imagination run rampant, creating his own, idealized plus-sized woman. But it wasn’t just the shape – Hilda’s personality sold calendars as much as her body. She always seemed ready for adventure, had a carefree demeanor, and she always exuded a fun attitude.

Over a few decades, Bryers churned out hundreds of paintings of Hilda in pretty much any situation imaginable. Eventually, the artist moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he continued to make art full-time while raising a family. When the demand finally let up, he stopped drawing the redhead and moved on to other subjects.

That wasn’t the end, though. Gradually, demand for Hilda came back, and Brown & Bigelow started issuing new calendars with the same, beloved art.

Hilda

The genius of Hilda was that she satirized pin-up conventions while also embracing them. Sure, she twisted her body into alluring positions while showing off an acre of flesh, but she did it with a wink. “Hey, we’re all having fun here,” the drawings seem to say. One could say they’re sexy without being sexist. Although just a figment of Bryers’ imagination, it feels like she’s enthusiastically giving consent to his eager painting.

Bryers passed away at the grand age of 100 in 2012, leaving behind a rich heritage in art. It wasn’t just Hilda, but iconic images of the American West, featuring cowboys, rolling vistas and glorious plains — all delineated with the same style.

Friends eulogize him as a man who could truly paint anything. Today, his most famous creation lives on – if you want to see more of Hilda, here’s a Facebook group devoted to her.

mgFact have one hanging in their office somewhere.

Hilda

The rambunctious redhead was the creation of artist Duane Bryers, a Minnesota farm boy-turned-commercial artist, who saw a big demand for an unfilled niche. And a niche it was. Unlike Ava Gardner or Brigitte Bardot, Hilda was relatively realistically proportioned to represent the average woman. And, up until recently, she was lost in the dust of memory.

Bryers always had art on his mind. In 1937, he won a commission from his local school board to paint a mural about Minnesota’s iron mining industry. For this purpose, the school financed his trip to New York City, where he spent the next decade haunting museums and galleries. So he picked up techniques from history while working for ad agencies. Combining the two, the idea for Hilda formed in his mind.

The 1950s saw the peak of the pin-up form. In a sea of women who were all painted thin, tall and long-legged, Bryers wanted to create something different. So, he made some drawings of Hilda and took them to calendar publisher Brown & Bigelow. They reluctantly signed him for a deal, which hinged on the sales of the calendars rising above a certain level. In short – it had to sell.

Well, they didn’t drop below that level for 37 years. And all throughout that time, Bryers continued to draw picture after picture of his dream woman.

Hilda

What’s interesting is he didn’t work from a model, as many other artists did. Instead, Bryers let his imagination run rampant, creating his own, idealized plus-sized woman. But it wasn’t just the shape – Hilda’s personality sold calendars as much as her body. She always seemed ready for adventure, had a carefree demeanor, and she always exuded a fun attitude.

Over a few decades, Bryers churned out hundreds of paintings of Hilda in pretty much any situation imaginable. Eventually, the artist moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he continued to make art full-time while raising a family. When the demand finally let up, he stopped drawing the redhead and moved on to other subjects.

That wasn’t the end, though. Gradually, demand for Hilda came back, and Brown & Bigelow started issuing new calendars with the same, beloved art.

Hilda

The genius of Hilda was that she satirized pin-up conventions while also embracing them. Sure, she twisted her body into alluring positions while showing off an acre of flesh, but she did it with a wink. “Hey, we’re all having fun here,” the drawings seem to say. One could say they’re sexy without being sexist. Although just a figment of Bryers’ imagination, it feels like she’s enthusiastically giving consent to his eager painting.

Bryers passed away at the grand age of 100 in 2012, leaving behind a rich heritage in art. It wasn’t just Hilda, but iconic images of the American West, featuring cowboys, rolling vistas and glorious plains — all delineated with the same style.

Friends eulogize him as a man who could truly paint anything. Today, his most famous creation lives on – if you want to see more of Hilda, here’s a Facebook group devoted to her.

Source: omgfacts

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