Enoch Bolles (3 March 1883 – 16 March 1976) was an
American painter of pin-up art. He was among the
earliest and most widely circulated glamour
illustrators. While known today solely as a pinup
artist, Bolles was a versatile illustrator who also
worked extensively in the advertising industry, creating
hundreds of attractive color illustrations for products
ranging from bread to cigarettes. His most widely
reproduced advertising illustration is the "Windy Girl"
for Zippo lighters. This work, produced in 1937, has
recently been reissued as the Vargas Windy Girl and has
appeared in well over 100 variations on Zippo lighters.
He was born in Boardman, Marion County, Florida, the son
of Enoch Bolles, Jr., a chemist in the perfume industry,
and Catherine Keep. After his father's death, the family
moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he met and, in 1903,
married Clara Kaufman. They had eight children together,
eventually settling in Harrington, New Jersey.
Bolles studied at the National
Academy of Design, and his first illustrations were published in
1914 on the covers of joke books, such as Judge and Puck. He became
best known for illustrating Film Fun. In 1923 he became the
exclusive cover artist for Film Fun and continued in this role until
the magazine folded in 1943, a victim of the Postermaster General's
campaign against 'salacious' material. In addition to his 200 covers
for Film Fun, Bolles painted at least 300 more for spicy pulps,
including Breezy Stories, Pep and New York Nights. None of this work
was signed and most of it remains unattributed. Bolles' monthly
lineup of all-American beauties precisely posed in wildly
imaginative costumes did much to define the future of American
pin-up illustration, and remain popular today. He was also a
versatile illustrator who created advertising for many products,
including Sun-Maid Raisins and Zippo lighters.
Psychological problems ended Bolles
professional career in 1943 and confined him to Greystone Hospital
in New Jersey for most of the rest of his life, but he continued to
paint commissioned portraits and for personal pleasure. He was
eventually discharged from hospital in 1969, and died from heart
failure at the age of 93.