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    Description

    ALBERTO VARGAS (American, 1896-1982)
    Pin-up, 1928
    Mixed media on board
    38 x 26 in.
    Signed lower left
    Alberto Vargas began working as the official house artist for the Ziegfeld theatre chain after artist Rafael Kirchner died in 1916. Florenz Ziegfeld gave Vargas a studio above his office at the New Amsterdam Theatre where the young artist created the posters and art work for Ziegfeld's theatres for a 13-year span. After performances and rehearsals, the Ziegfeld Girls would come up to Vargas' studio and pose for him at no charge. Many of the Ziegfeld originals created by Vargas have been destroyed or damaged and very few of them still exist. Flo Ziegfeld was very fond of Vargas and nurtured him. He felt that Vargas' work captured the epitome of a beautiful Ziegfeld Girl. The above black and white photo is circa 1926 and it shows Vargas in his studio at the New Amsterdam Theatre lounging in front of some of his Ziegfeld pictures with works in progress that were eventually used in the Ziegfeld Follies, including the important pin-up offered here.

    This painting, done nearly a decade before Vargas started his groundbreaking work at Esquire magazine, shows the artist's early mastery of his material. The subject, evocative of many of his later-themed gatefolds and Playboy pin-ups, combines "modern" American sensuality with a "historical" context. This is the most important early Vargas we've ever had the pleasure of offering.




    Condition Report*: This piece has been framed to an overall size of 44 in. x 32 in. Unless otherwise noted, this lot is in good condition with only normal wear commensurate with age.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    27th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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