Gil Elvgren

Jun 28 2002 Kelly Norton
In a post depression world, Gil Elvgren's depictions of the American dream gave the country a much needed lift from the bleak dungeon that had been the 1930s. From the 1940s to the 1960s his alluring pinups were featured in advertisements and calendars and he is now recognized as one of the best (if not the best) pinup artist in American history. While he will always be remembered for his technicolor scenes of the “girl-next-door,” most of his work during his twenty-five year stint with Coca-Cola depicted idyllic scenes of the safe and comfortable American family. Working under the mentorship of Haddon Sundblom, a man best remembered for his Santas, Elvgren became recognized as one of the great illustrators in the field of advertising. Indeed, almost all his work technically falls into the category of commercial art and it wasn't until late in his life that he gained some critical acclaim as a classic American iconographer. In all of Elvgren's work one gets a taste of a better life with a slight hint of nostalgia … let's just call it apple pie.