Louis K. Meisel Gallery is pleased to announce The Great American Pin-Up Returns: The AK Collection on view April 2 – May2, 2015. Originating in the late 1930s, pinup illustration continues to play an important role in American culture. Though pin-ups became prominent in the late 50s and 60s, it is only in recent decades that the early pin-up artists have been recognized as fine artists as well as commercial illustrators.
Calendar and magazine publishers possessed the original paintings and drawings, but often discarded the works after reproduction prints had been made. Stemming from a childhood fascination with pin-up calendars and advertisements, Louis Meisel sought out original paintings and became the leading dealer and collector of original pin-up artworks. In the late 1980s and early 90s, Meisel assisted a prominent European collector with assembling “The AK Collection”; one of the finest pin-up collections that includes many well-publicized and recognizable pin-ups that have graced the covers of magazines, books, and more. Now, 20 years later, his collection will return to the Louis K. Meisel Gallery for exhibition.
The AK Collection features nearly every major pin-up artist including an outstanding selection of oils by Gil Elvgren, watercolors by Alberto Vargas, and pastels by Rolf Armstrong. The 49-piece collection contains many rare oversized pin-ups that include compositions of the ‘girl next door’ to scenes that verge on fantasy. An avid car collector, AK acquired many artworks that feature cars prominently. With this unique collection available to the public once again, Louis K. Meisel Gallery intends to redistribute the works to new collectors interested in the history and nostalgia associated with The Great American Pin-Up.