Enoch Bolles, Pin-Up and Fine Artist

One of the premier "pin-up" artists of the American scene in the 1920's and 1930's was Enoch Bolles. His covers for FILM FUN alone make him someone we should remember, someone who heavily influenced American popular art. Since the time we originally put this page and his covers online, recognition of his work has gone world-wide, with some of his best work commanding prices of hundreds of dollars...for a nice copy of the magazine that has it on its cover!

Prof. Jack Raglin wrote a short bio of Bolles for MagazineArt.org:

Enoch Bolles (1883-1976) was one of the earliest and most widely circulated glamour illustrators. Although known today as a pinup artist, Bolles was a versatile illustrator who also worked in the advertising industry where he produced hundreds of attractive color illustrations for products ranging from bread to cigarettes. His magazine work first appeared in 1914 on the covers of humor periodicals including JUDGE and PUCK, but he is best known for FILM FUN, which he began illustrating in 1922. During Bolles' 21 year reign as FILM FUN's exclusive cover artist he helped to define the future of pinup art with his monthly lineup of all-American beauties precisely posed in wildly imaginative costumes. Bolles produced over 200 covers for Film Fun, and painted at least 300 more for spicy pulps, including BREEZY STORIES and PEP, but he did not sign any of this work, so much of it remains unattributed. Bolles professional career ended in 1943, but he painted commissioned portraits and for personal pleasure throughout the rest of his life.

For more on Bolles see: J. Raglin, "A Design for Beauty: The Art of Enoch Bolles," (ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE, issue 9, 2004), and J. Raglin "The Art Stars of Film Fun,".(ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE, issue #14, 2005)

Links:

Jack Raglin has posted a number of covers by Bolles, and a discussion of the art and the artist on his blog about Bolles.

The Pin-Up Files website pages on Bolles have numerous reproductions of his work

Currently out of print, but worth writing to see if they will be reprinting issues 9 and 14 of ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE.


Update history:

  • 2 September 2020: Updated links and made compatible with new display system software.
  • 13 October 2008: Updated with more information.
  • 1 November 2005: This page created.