Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Alberto Vargas: the Esquire Pinups

Exhibition Label Copy

Buszek & Goddard

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, October 1940
Verse Inscription: Love at Second Sight
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.526

This is Vargas's first gatefold for Esquire magazine. He must have been aware that he was following in the wake of George Petty, whose "Petty Girls" had already achieved notoriety in the pages of Esquire. His use of a telephone in this composition is probably a nod to Petty, who often used telephones as props. When printed, each Vargas gatefold appeared with a verse by Phil Stack, in this case alluding to the woman's golddigger ambitions.
While Vargas signed this gatefold "Vargas," a note pencilled near the bottom of the image says "omit 'S' in signature" (not visible as framed). Indeed, the "S" was removed when the image was printed in Esquire. Subsequently Vargas signed his name "Varga," allowing the magazine to claim ownership of the "Varga Girl" as a trademark.

Gatefold
Pubished in Esquire, November 1940
Verse Inscription: Exit
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.527

Gatefold
Designed for Esquire December 1940, not published
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.678

The December gatefolds were often given over to a Santa Claus theme, but in 1940 the gatefold was replaced by a promotional preview of the first Varga Girl Calendar. As a result this image was never reproduced in Esquire magazine.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, January 1941
Verse Inscription: Double Trouble
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.528

Vargas's source for this gatefold was a cosmetic advertisment, but the wings are his own invention.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, January 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.536

Vargas’s depiction of the woman as baby, though ostensibly representing the new year on the January page of the first Varga Girl Calendar, may have its roots in his earlier work for the Ziegfeld Follies or in the the films of Busby Berkeley. Each of these directors was known for staging spectacular shows featuring actresses in theatrical fantasy outfits and corresponding sets--each one more outrageous than the next.

Gatefold
Designed for Esquire January/February 1941, unpublished
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.677

Vargas's wife, Anna May Clift, modeled for this gatefold. It was rejected by Esquire, however, because the figure seemed too athletic and realistically muscled.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, February 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.537

It is possible that Vargas hoped to evoke the popular Norwegian skating figure Sonja Henie in this calendar piece. Henie won the gold medal for figure skating at the 1928, 1932, and 1936 Winter Olympics. She also starred in several films in the 1930s and 40s.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, March 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.538

The verse given with this calendar image when it was published concerns income tax, which was due on March 15 in 1941.

March I’m not so fond of
My suitors grow quite lax,
Instead of paying COMPLIMENTS
They’re paying INCOME TAX!

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, May 1941
Verse Inscription: Nice Neighbors
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.530

This curious image of a woman in pilgrim's garb and a Latin woman with a guitar may have referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 Good Neighbor Policy. This policy, which may have had special significance for Peruvian-born Vargas, laid the groundwork for Latin American solidarity with the Allies during the Second World War. By the time this gatefold appeared, there was already an air of inevitability about U.S. involvement in the war. Seven months later, on December 11, 1941 (just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), the United States declared war on Germany and Italy. The U.S. was joined by Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, all of which declared war on Germany.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, May 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.540

Many of Vargas’s poses and fashions were inspired by his study of contemporary women’s fashion magazines. The composition for this calendar piece derives from a fashion layout in Vogue magazine. In the original, however, the model holds a fishing net and stands by the sea.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, July 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.541

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, July 1941
Verse Inscription: Curves are Trumps
Watercolor, airbrush and photo-montage
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.532

This gatefold appeared in the same issue of Esquire as the first advertisment for a new line of merchandise: "Varga Girl Playing Cards."

Calendar
Published in Esquire, September 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.543

This calendar image recalls Vargas's earlier work for the Ziegfeld Follies. Since he was under great pressure to create a large number of pinups and calendar images for Esquire, it is possible that Vargas occasionally revived and reused earlier work from his portfolio, including this theatrically posed pin-up.

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Gatefold
Published in Esquire, September 1941
Verse Inscription: Red Means Go
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.533

Calendar
Published in Esquire, October 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.544

The verse accompanying this calendar evokes the hunt and may have been meant to coincide with the fall hunting season. The golddigging double entendre reminds us of the misogyny frequently on display at Esquire before the United States joined the war and national attitudes toward women shifted significantly.

October is a hunting month
A sport in which I thrive
I love to bag an old tycoon
And bring him back ALIVE!

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, October 1941
Verse Inscription: Yours to Command
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.534

The text accompanying this gatefold, which appeared two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, alludes to the U.S. Army, Navy and Airforce. By September 1942, the texts on the gatefolds would make reference to women contributing to the war effort by working on the homefront, but this does not appear in Vargas’s watercolors until 1943.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, December 1941
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.546

While this calendar image avoids the usual Santa references, the verse that accompanied it does not.

December ends another year
And so it’s time to pause
I hope you’re all convinced by now
There is a Santa Claus!

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, November 1941
Verse Inscription: Patriotism Plus
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.535

This gatefold became famous as the "six-fingered Varga Girl." Esquire’s readers noted the mistake and were quick to point it out. For example, a student at Skidmore College wrote the following:

My dear Mr. Varga,

While making a copy of the patriotic miss you did for the November issue of Esquire, I noticed that she has five fingers on her right hand -- not including her thumb. Isn’t this a bit unusual? I am an Art major here at Skidmore and the sight of the surplus finger actually did something to my aesthetic soul.

Would you please send me the name of your Model? We might like to have her pose for some of our life classes here -- we get so tired of the same old thing.

Vargas quipped in his reply, "This was a stunt to test reader observation and reaction."

Calendar
Published in Esquire, January 1942
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.557

Vargas based this image on a photograph of actress Carole Lombard, as he also had done for the July 1942 gatefold, which is included in this exhibition. Unlike the July gatefold, however, this image must have been completed before Lombard died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942. The actress was returning from a bond-selling tour, and her last public words were delivered at a rally in Indianapolis: "Before I say good-bye to you all -- come on -- join me in a big cheer -- V for Victory!" Soon Vargas would join the effort, designing images specifically to promote war bond sales.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, January 1942
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.558

Calendar
Published in Esquire, March 1942
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.559

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, March 1942
Verse Inscription: Semper Fidelis [always faithful]
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.548

While this woman’s outfit has definite military associations, Vargas still presents her as a passive figure in a wartime dominated by a male military. It wouldn’t be until the 1943 calendar images were published in the magazine nine months later that Vargas would directly associate the Varga Girl with real enlisted women.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, April 1942
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.560

The 1943 MGM film DuBarry was a Lady recreated several of the Varga Girls, including this one. The promotional chalk drawing for DuBarry was a Lady (ca. January 1943) is also exhibited here.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, July 1942
Verse Inscription: Heritage
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.551

The verse accompanying the published version of this gatefold describes a soldier who, after a phone call to his true love stateside, realizes that he is fighting for her. This concept reappears frequently in subsequent imagery and the accompanying poems.

Like the January 1942 calendar image exhibited here, this gatefold was directly inspired by a photograph of actress Carole Lombard, who had died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, August 1942
Verse Inscription: Victory Song
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.552

The verse accompanying this gatefold as published in Esquire evokes the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Infantry and the hopes of recapturing the Philippine island of Corregidor. The image was also used to promote the sale of Varga Playing Cards as gifts for soldiers.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, October 1942
Verse Inscription: Song for a Guitar
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.554

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, November 1942
Verse Inscription: Beauts and Saddles
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.555

The patriotic and bawdy verse that accompanies this watercolor is typical of Phil Stack's contributions to the published gatefolds. Perhaps reflecting what would become a real anxiety among professional men after the war, the verse suggests the unsentimental stateside woman who, in peacetime, may not relinquish the autonomy she gains in holding down the homefront:

Beauts and Saddles

Here's a pretty Prairie Blossum
And she isn't playing possum
But you'll find her in there "punchin'" in a jam,
For her cowboy, tall and lanky,
Is a patriotic Yankee
And he's roundin' up some rogues for Uncle Sam;
So this little cactus cutie
Will be proud to do her duty
And she'll wear his pants until he wins the war--
Then with hearts in sweet communion
They will stage a western union
And I bet she wears the pants forevermore!

Calendar
Published in Esquire, November 1942
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.565

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, December 1942
Verse Inscription: Miss Santa Claus
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.556

Movie Promotion
DuBarry was a Lady, ca. January 1943
Graphite and chalk
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.679

Throughout his career Vargas did work for Hollywood. This preliminary drawing for the advertising campaign of the 1943 MGM movie DuBarry Was a Lady (starring Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, and Red Skelton) shows the kind of preparatory work that probably preceded most of the Varga Girls. In general, Vargas made three separate drawings before the final watercolor. An image like this in chalk with some color highlights was generally the third and final study before Vargas transferred the drawing to watercolor board.

The movie, based on an adaptation of Cole Porter's Broadway play has been summarized: after winning a Derby, nightclub coat-check boy Louis Blore mistakenly drinks a 'Mickey' that sends him into a fantastic dream. Louis imagines that he himself is King Louis XV of France and the cabaret singer he adores is Madame Du Barry. . The film also featured an elaborate musical number, "I Love an Esquire Girl," in which many of Vargas’ most popular Esquire pinups come to life in the form of Hollywood chorus girls (see the calendar for April 1942, for example).

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Calendar
Published in Esquire, February 1943
Watercolor, airbrush, and collage
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.581

The tape holding the newspaper in place in the work does not appear in the Esquire reproduction of this image. Perhaps the newspaper became loose (as with other collaged elements in the exhibition, see the April 1943 gatefold) and was repaired with tape sometime after 1943.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, March 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.582

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, April 1943
Verse Inscription: Peace, It's Wonderful
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.570

This WAAC (a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps) holds a bugle and gives the sign of victory. The WAACs did non-combat work for the Army and numbered nearly 100,000 by the end of the war. Despite her patriotic role, this is one of the images that the Postmaster General referred to in a failed attempt to revoke Esquire’s second class mailing privilege on grounds of obscenity.

The collaged clothes for this gatefold were attached with rubber cement which has dried, allowing the clothes to detach (the damaged garments are exhibited to the right) and leaving a glue residue on the underlying watercolor. Parts of the trumpet have been permanently lost as well. The image can be seen in its totality in the issue of Esquire exhibited here. The inscription seen here, "My hat’s off!" was presumably added when the image was used on another occasion, perhaps in a military issue of Esquire. The military issues are described for the March 1944 image exhibited here.

Phil Stack’s verse (see display case) suggests that this WAAC is also a war bride.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, April 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.583

The verse printed with this melancholy woman who reads a letter suggests that she is a war bride:

April is a thrilling month
to marry a lovesick lass
For Cupid puts his apron on
and starts to cook with gas!

Calendar
Published in Esquire, June 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.572

The costume of this calendar figure evokes the South Pacific and perhaps the allure of women overseas. Through such "exotic" South Pacific Varga Girls and its bawdy comics, Esquire often alluded to the beauty of the women U.S. soldiers encountered while stationed in the South Pacific.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, June 1943
Verse Inscription: Something for the Boys
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.579

The verse "Something for the Boys" published with this gatefold suggests the role pinups sometimes enjoyed as gifts. The verse goes on to discuss the appearance of pinups in "barracks all over the map."

Calendar
Published in Esquire, July 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.585

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, July 1943
Verse Inscription: Hail and Farewell
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.573

The verse associated with this gatefold discusses a wedding and the immediate separation that often followed in wartime. The verse goes on to celebrate this wedding as a "gift to all the future years." However sentimental it may seem, this image can still inspire powerful emotions in couples who endured the separation caused by World War II.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, August 1943
Verse Inscription: Vacation Reverie
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.574

In a vintage photograph, Marines can be seen viewing this gatefold as they approach Tawara in the Gilbert Islands. The photo was published in Esquire shortly afterward, as evidence of "which pages cover more territory than the rest of the magazine put together."

Calendar
Published in Esquire, August 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.586

Vargas airbrushed the black garment over the figure’s form to give the effect of sheer clothing.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, September 1943
Verse Inscription: Military Secrets
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.575

Like the April 1943 gatefold exhibited, this gatefold was used as evidence of obscenity by the Postmaster General in the lawsuit against Esquire.

War Bonds Promotion
November 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.666

This watercolor never appeared in Esquire. It was evidently used to promote War Bonds. War Bonds advertisments were often associated with personal hygiene products, transportation, or, as in this case, radio communication. Gatefolds were sometimes turned into War Bond posters after being published as pinups.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, November 1943
Verse Inscription: Virtue Triumphs
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.577

Calendar
Published in Esquire, November 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.589

Calendar
Published in Esquire, December 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.590

As in the Bugle Blowing WAAC gatefold from April 1943, this image of a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps depicts one of the women who enlisted in active military duty. The verse accompaning this gatefold announces:

A Merry Xmas to you all!
I’m off the join the WAACs
And serve the Country that I love
Until the Axis cracks!

The Axis was the alliance of Germany and Italy, later including Japan and other nations at war with the Allies (the United States, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser degree, China).

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, December 1943
Verse Inscription: There'll always be a Christmas
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.578

A favorite of Airforce pilots, this gatefold appeared at least once as a mascot on the nose of a war plane. In the mind of a pilot, her in-flight pose and "A-O.K." gesture may have resembled a bombardier’s indication of readiness to bomb.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, January 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.591

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, February 1944
Verse Inscription: Torch Singer
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.603

Calendar
Published in Esquire, February 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.592

The verse composed to accompany this calendar image speaks directly to the Varga girl's male military audience, as well as to the sexual bravado that many young homefront women felt increasingly comfortable expressing in their new roles as independent working women.

I’m learning some commando tricks
For keeping fit, they’re dandy
And when you men come home again
They’re apt to come in handy!

Back Cover
Published in Esquire March 1944 Military Issue
Verse Inscription: G.I. Genevieve (She's All Yours Boys!)
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.656

The special military issues of Esquire, which included no advertising, boasted a Varga Girl on the back cover as well as a gatefold. In this case the text accompanying the back cover image anounces "She’s all yours, Boys!" playing on the fact she appeared only in the military issue.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, March 1944
Verse Inscription: Pistol Packin' "Mama"
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.604

The verse composed for this gatefold derives from the hit song, "Pistol Packin’ Mama." The song, written and performed by Al Dexter, was at the top of the charts by summer 1943. Soon thereafter it was recorded by the Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, April 1944
Verse Inscription: Patriotic Gal
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.594

The accompanying verse explains the patriotism meant to be understood in this image. Her patriotism may be detected in her full homefront work schedule (hence her fatigue), her short nighty (she has conserved fabric), and her purchase of War Bonds.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, April 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.605

The woman keeping fit here belongs to the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Eighty-six thousand women volunteered for the Waves during the war, freeing up as many Navy men to perform combat duty. The Waves were especially important in communications, air traffic control, naval air navigation, and clerical positions.

Back Cover
Published in Esquire, July 1944 Military Issue
Verse Inscription: Patriotic Patty Says
Graphite and colored pencil
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.669

Between the sale of the first U.S. War Bond, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 1, 1941, and the final War Bond deposit on January 3, 1946, more than 85 million U.S. citizens invested in the war effort. A major advertising effort helped realize the $185.7 billion raised through bonds. This is one of three advertisements for War Bonds in the exhibition.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, July 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.597

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, August 1944
Verse Inscription: Sitting Pretty
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.609

With the surfboard changed to a torpedo and the surfer to a mermaid, this gatefold appeared as a mascot on the conning tower of a wartime submarine.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, September 1944
Verse Inscription: All American Babe
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.610

In all likelihood, this gatefold makes reference to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. The League was founded by Philip K. Wrigley in 1943 to shore up enthusiasm for the national sport at a time when many male players were being drafted into military service. This gatefold also appeared as a poster promoting the sale of War Bonds.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, October 1944
Verse Inscription: Some Pumpkins
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.611

Calendar
Published in Esquire, October 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.600

As in the June 1943 calendar, the costume of this calendar figure evokes the South Pacific and perhaps the allure of women overseas. This calendar figure appeared as a mascot on the nose of a B-24 bomber with the text "War Goddess." It was also used for a deck of cards published by Esquire.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, November 1944
Verse Inscription: Lament for a Pin-Up Pip!
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.612

This figure with airbrushed gown recalls the famous "Memphis Belle" pinup (owned by the Spencer Museum of Art) that was designed by Vargas’ predecessor at Esquire, George Petty. Petty’s pinup was used as the mascot of one of the most acclaimed aircraft of the war, a B- 17 that was the first bomber in the German theater to complete 25 missions without losing a single crew member. Vargas designs also adorned many aircraft and at least one submarine (see the exhibited gatefold of August 1944). Vargas never turned down a request for a mascot design for the military.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, December 1944
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.602

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, December 1944
Verse Inscription: Merry Christmas and How!
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.613

The verse written for this December gatefold (note the mistletoe) refers to the war and to the homefront women to whom the soliders would be returning.

Playing Card
January 1945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.670

squire periodically marketed playing cards featuring Vargas gatefolds. Later, as in the two 1945 designs exhibited here, Vargas produced watercolors specifically to be used for playing cards.

Playing Card
January l945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.671

Calendar
Published in Esquire, January 1945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.675

Back Cover
Published in Esquire, February1945 Military Issue
Verse Inscription: V-Mail Veronica
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.663

The letter in the harmonica player’s hand and the verse that appeared in the military issue of Esquire allude to V-Mail, the streamlined means of sending mail to soldiers in the field. V-Mail was composed on special forms that were sent in a photographic format overseas. They were then printed and distributed. An advertisement claimed that 1,700 V-Mail letters could fit in a cigarette packet, reducing the weight of the letters in paper form by 98%.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, April 1945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.615

The woman in this calendar watercolor balances a U.S. Navy Junior Officer’s cap on her toe.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, April 1945
Verse Inscription: Gravy for the Navy
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.624

This WAVE studies a semaphore primer. The book appears to be open to a key to the alphabet in semaphore, a means of communicating with two flags.

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, September 1945
Verse Inscription: Sleepytime Gal!
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.627

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, August 1945
Verse Inscription: Shocking Suggestion
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.626

Calendar
Published in Esquire, November 1945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.621

The insignia on this woman’s cap as well as her flag suggest that she is a WAC serving in the Signal Corps, the branch of the military concerned with communications.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, December 1945
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.622

Gatefold
Published in Esquire, January 1946
Verse Inscription: Miss January, Nineteen Forty-Six
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.631

This is one of the last gatefolds Vargas designed for Esquire. It appeared as an enormous four page fold-out. Well before the appearance of this work, relations between Vargas and Esquire had become strained, largely because Vargas had signed contracts with Esquire that bound him to an impossible work load. In April 1946 (a few months after this image appeared) a series of lawsuits began between Vargas and Esquire, and the last two "Varga Girls" (April and May) bore the new caption "The Esquire Girl."

Calendar
Published in Esquire, March 1946
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.634

When the January 1946 gatefold appeared in Esquire, promotional images for the 1946 Varga Calendar appeared reproduced on the flip side. Since the calendar images were finished in time go to press by January 1946 they still appear under the Varga name. The gatefolds, however, were dubbed "The Esquire Girl" after the lawsuit between Vargas and Esquire had started in April 1946.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, June 1946
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.639

Calendar
Published in Esquire, September 1946
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.641

Calendar
Published in Esquire, October 1946
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.642

Calendar
Published in Esquire, November 1946
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.643

Calendar
Published in Esquire, May 1947
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.648

The November 1946 Esquire includes an advertisment for the "1947 Esquire Girl Calendar." The three 1947 calendar figures exhibited here were therefore published without any credit to the artist.

Calendar
Published in Esquire, September 1947
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.652

Calendar
Published in Esquire, November 1947
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.653

Calendar
Published in Esquire, December 1947
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.655

Playing Card
January 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.672

Beginning in 1941 Esquire marketed decks of Varga playing cards. These were initially drawn from the gatefolds (see the July 1941 gatefold exhibited), but after 1941 special paintings were done for the cards, as in the two examples from 1943 exhibited.

Playing Card, 2nd ed.
January 1943
Watercolor and airbrush
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.673

War Bonds Promotion
Untitled ("Oh G.I. hear you bought another G.I. Bond!"girl crosslegged holding telephone)
Not dated
Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor
Gift of Esquire, Inc., 80.668

This is one of three promotions for War Bonds exhibited here. This appears to be a preparatory drawing that has been converted to a War Bond poster by the addition of text on a mat that has been placed over the drawing. See also the November 1943 promotional pinup and that which appeared in the July 1944 military issue.