Hop to it.
On Saturday, Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries, situated in New Windsor, NY, will auction off a portion of the late pinup-turned-photographer Bunny Yeager’s huge archives, amongst them a few of the most well-known pictures of the infamous Bettie Page.
Linnea Eleanor “Bunny” Yeager began her profession as a mannequin and was the Cheesecake Queen of 1951, earlier than getting behind the digicam to shoot Page and different leggy fashions within the Fifties and ’60s, elevating pinup pics to artworks.
“Bunny understood what made a good photo shoot work, because she was a model, as well as a modeling and photography teacher. And Bettie showed up, ready to work, bringing a creativity and exuberance with her posing and facial expression,” stated 50-year-old Richard Foster, the creator of the “The Real Bettie Page.”
“They were both plucky, smart, independent-minded women in a time when the world didn’t offer as many opportunities for them, and I think they recognized similar qualities in each other.”
The public sale is the fifth sale of Yeager’s work since January, and it’ll embody unpublished footage and negatives of midcentury beauties, spanning 1000’s of things throughout 380 heaps.
It’s a treasure trove that showcases Yeager and Page’s celebrated working relationship, which yielded a few of the most iconic pictures of the latter. Their collaborations, which began in 1954, allowed Page to interrupt free from bondage shoots for fetish magazines. Working with Yeager, who died in 2014 at age 85 of congestive coronary heart failure, Page was captured in additional creative settings away from the male gaze.
“She was very tasteful and [her models] appreciated that,” stated Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries’ proprietor, principal auctioneer and appraiser Joanne Grant, 80. “Bettie Page … was looking for a new avenue, and she certainly did find it with Bunny Yeager. It was a completely different milieu.”
That’s to not say Page, who died at age 85 in 2008 following a coronary heart assault, at all times stayed clothed.
In one among their first and most well-known periods, Page wears nothing greater than a Santa hat, sewn by Yeager, and kneels subsequent to a Christmas tree whereas winking and dressing it with ornaments. Hugh Hefner paid $100 for the picture ($993 immediately) and printed it within the January 1955 Playboy centerfold.
A print of that photograph is available for sale in a pack of 10 assorted pictures (estimated worth between $60 and $100), and an unpublished outtake from that shoot, during which Page seems away from the digicam, is estimated to fetch between $100 and $150.
Other pictures had been wilder. Yeager, who was one of many first glamour photographers to snap her fashions in pure mild, shot Page sporting a leopard-print outfit and posing with cheetahs on the since-shuttered Africa U.S.A. animal park in Boca Raton, Florida. Behind-the-scenes self-portraits of the 2, and two reclining cheetahs, are estimated to promote for $200 to $300.
Mutual inspiration outlined the 2 girls’s working relationship.
“Bettie Page was Bunny Yeager’s ultimate muse,” stated Foster, whose e book was tailored into the 2006 movie “The Notorious Bettie Page,” starring Gretchen Mol within the title function and Sarah Paulson as Yeager.
“Bunny told me that Bettie was ‘the best pinup-glamour model that ever lived,’ [and said] ‘She was like a drawing — a perfect woman: unreal, fun, fantasy. Bettie always portrayed a woman that hinted she would be lots of fun to be with, someone who would never have a headache or a bad mood. Sure, she’d pout . . . but you always knew she was playing with you.’ ”
Page stop modeling in 1957 and vanished on the peak of her fame, two years after a Senate investigation into pornography and the controversy it introduced. But, many years later, she turned a beloved determine in sure circles. Her pinup reputation — whose basis lies in Yeager’s legacy — stays.
“There is an entirely new generation of millennial and Gen Z women who see Bettie Page as an example of female sexuality and power, not to mention the wide and devoted following of people who appreciate her as a fashion and beauty icon, and counterculture symbol,” stated Foster.
Diane Arbus as soon as referred to Yeager as “the world’s greatest pinup photographer,” and Yeager’s fashions — though sporting near nothing or nothing in any respect — confirmed an air of innocence.
Beyond touchdown Page on the pages of Playboy, Yeager additionally found Lisa Winters, the journal’s first Playmate of the Year, at a bus cease in 1956. Hundreds of magazines showcase her work, and she printed greater than 25 books.
In the Nineteen Seventies, when males’s magazines began demanding extra specific imagery, Yeager stopped capturing nudes, calling the brand new fashion “kind of smutty,” in response to the Washington Post.
After falling into obscurity, her work turned newly appreciated within the remaining years of her life, with a 2010 exhibit of her self-portraits at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Andy Warhol Museum and a 2013 retrospective on the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale.
In an interview, she as soon as revealed the key to her success.
“It’s easier for a woman,” she stated, “to ask a girl to take off her clothes.”