✿ Earl MORAN (1893 -1984) ✿

A young model named Norma Jean Dougherty approached this famed artist in an attempt to pose for a painting. For four years Moran painted Marilyn Monroe and they created a lasting friendship. She always credited him with making her legs look better than they were as she felt they were too thin.

The inception of Earl Moran's vibrant career as a pin-up artist could be narrowed to 1932 when Moran signed an exclusive contract with Brown Bigelow who eventually sold millions of calendars graced with his sensual art deco pin-up girls.
This photo dates from around 1933-1936.
Earl Moran (1893 -1984) was one of the 20th century's most important pin-up artists and a true star in the pin-up world.
Earl Steffa Moran was born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, US. Moran's first instruction in art came under the direction of John Stich, an elderly German artist who also taught the great illustrator W.H.D. Koerner. Moran also studied with Walter Biggs at the Chicago Art Institute and then at the famed Art Students League in Manhattan where he studied under Vincent Dumond, Robert Henri, George Bridgman and Thomas Fogarty (Norman Rockwell's teacher).
Earl Moran was a master of pastels, though he showed little if any influence of reigning Brown & Bigelow star Rolf Armstrong, whose domain he encroached upon in the '30s. Moran was soon a superstar himself, creating lively, sexy girls whose relationship with the viewer was seldom a teasing one. Unlike Gil Elvgren and others, Moran did not continually re-work one type of situation, and his pin-ups have more variety than any other major contributor to the field.
Moran was a photographer, as well as an illustrator which lent well in his portrait pin-ups by giving him a great knowledge of lighting and shadows.
In 1940, LIFE Magazine featured Moran in their article "Speaking of Pictures" and the American audience was in awe.
Breaking in via advertising work for Sears-Roebuck, Moran went on to magazine illustration, movie posters ("Something for the Boys" 1944) and even co-published with Robert Harrison an early "girlie" magazine, Beauty Parade, contributing covers, sometimes under his middle name non de plume, "Steffa", and he later contributed pin-ups to other Harrison magazines such as Flirt, Wink and Giggles.
In 1946, Moran moved to Hollywood though he had already painted many movie stars including Betty Grable, for publicity posters. Soon after his arrival, he interviewed a young starlet named Norma Jean Dougherty who wanted to model for him.
After a move to Las Vegas (circa 1955) and several years of living in the fast lane, Moran decided to devote his time to painting fine-art subjects in oils, with nudes as his favorite theme. Signing with Aaron Brothers Galleries, he painted for collectors until 1982, when his eyesight failed.

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