Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gibson Girls, pinup beginnings

I love history, love imagining how previous periods felt and how different, yet the same people were. When delving into the origins of pin up there is often mention of the link albeit small of First Jules Cheret, french artist and secondly the American Gibson girl, a photograph, or illustration of a high society,new renaissance victorian woman.
French artist and lithographer Jules Cheret is considered the first pin up artist, and inventor of the modern day poster. During the 1890's his artwork of frolicking women earned him the title "the father of women's liberation." It wasn't long before this new artistry inspired Americans.

Poster featuring Loïe Fuller, a dancer with burlesque beginnings at the
Folies Bergères by Jules Chéret.

In America, Charles Dana Gibson gained popularity for his illustrations of the freshly coined "Gibson Girls, " high society women depicted with a "sporty jaw," slender waist, accentuated curves, upswept curls and a look that gave she was at least equal, if not superior, to the gentlemen who called on her. Although these images were not yet called pin ups, they explored the quiet power of the new emerging woman. She was demure yet revolutionary, innocent with a knowing eye, unmistakably pin up!

Irene Langhorne Gibson wife and muse to Charles Gibson, this picture
makes me eager to star waist training!
Now this all leads down one path, I had to explore gibson girls from the butterscotch prospective, I mean surely there were black high society documented somewhere in America....right :/ ? I found some pictures out there in cyber world but feel it will require some real old school get off your a$$ and go to the the library...wait people still ACTUALLY do that? type of commitment but I have a little free time and inspiration in my heart, so we'll see... In the meanwhile I found these lovelies for you to feast on.

Brown pin ups, black Gibson girl, Gibson girl
Although her garments don't appear to be especially fashionable but her hair definitely is. Classic Gibson Girl silhouetted hair and high bun, eerily resembling our recent high, forehead like bun. I appreciate her natural texture as well being that many women black and white were starting to experiment with straightening their hair turn of the century.

Bustle, African American Victorian, black Victorian
A more fashionable version, but without the usual updo. I think its highly likely she wanted to show off her lengthy straightened hair instead, but I have been known to over think things.

Aida Overton Walker, black Victorians, African American Victorians
Aida or Ada Overton Walker a leading performer of the day with burlesque influences plan to do a post about her. Anyone else interested in Black Victorians?


  1. Wowwwwww.......! Loved the history lesson, what a great connection. Learning about the origins of a subject especially something so fun and creative not to mention adding the african american perspective....... Yes! A total do.... Good job. This is really inspiring even for those of us who aren't necessarily real life pin ups, I would imagine this is some good motivation for all of your pin up beauties out there who are following. I can't wait to see what's next! Keep up the good work!

  2. Your comment gives me inspiration :) hopefully I can keep bringing interesting subject matter!

  3. I love Gibson's and the fact people still wear them!!