George Petty George Petty

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George Petty
(1884 - 1975)

So famous was the Petty Girl, MGM made a movie about her. With Esquire magazine's issue No. 1, Petty's girls were female shapes poured from a martini shaker of imagination. The lines were simple -- even non-existent -- shades of fade-aways by Coles Phillips, Valentine Sandberg and, most closely, Will Grefé. Petty girls were as healthy as milk, sexy as champagne and often posed in little more than ballet shoes. Having Petty's airbrushed beauties in an ad campaign was a plus (The Ice Capades, Rigid Tool Company, Old Gold Cigarettes, TWA). From magazine covers to Jantzen swimsuit ads to calendars, Petty was one of the best at depicting American women; he even created a hood ornament for the Pinin Farina designed Nash .The 1945 Art Directors annual had illustrators' classifieds. Most artists listed their qualifications dryly: "Advertising illustrations," "Water color and oil," "Posters and Book Design," etc. Petty's ad was different. It said, "Telephones tenderly rendered."

Atlas Beer, "Don't Deny Yourself the Joys of Beer" (1930s) Petty - 001

Bestform (1945) Petty - 002

Calendar Girl, "I'm Angling" (1955) Petty - 003

Old Gold ads (1939) Petty - 004

Waves Recuriting Poster (1940s) Petty - 005

Esquire, "Tired Folks?" (1935) Petty - 006

Time Magazine Cover, Rita Hayworth (1941) Petty - 007

Jantzen (1937, 1938) Petty - 008

Ice Capades (1948) Petty - 009

Petty at work (1939) Petty - 010

Esquire Premier Issue, "Darling, what -- kachoo -- difference does age-- kachoo -- make anyway?" (Autumn 1933) Petty - 011