THE ARROW BEER "NUDES"
Rare & Exotic Breweriana
Information Compiled and Article Written By Larry Handy
Larry can be contacted at OhHugo1@aolcom

 





The Arrow Beer series of nude pin-up art posters was produced by the Globe Brewing Company of Baltimore, Maryland. Little has been documented about this series, although the research for this article is an attempt to begin the process.




Baltimore collector Dave Donovan and this author agree that the Arrow Beer Pin-ups were used by Globe beginning in the late 1930’s and the series continued through the ‘40’s. Based upon information gathered from the book “The Great American Pin-up” by Charles Martignette and Louis Meisel – this is possible, based on the contractual agreement between artist Earl Moran and Brown & Bigelow the manufacturer of the prints.




Brown and Bigelow, headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota is the world’s largest producer of advertising calendars and other similar promotional products. Originally founded in 1896, during the middle part of the twentieth century they employed a large number of professional artists to produce the pin-ups and other art used for their calendars and other products. Their trademark for these products is “Remembrance Advertising” . Shown is a sample print bearing this name, which would have been shown to prospective clients such as Globe Brewing. While this design is not known to exist as an Arrow Beer print, it bears strong resemblance to many of the known Arrow “nudes”. The pinnacle of pin-up advertising ran through the 1940’s, 1950’s, and into the 1960’s until the fallout from the “sexual revolution” made such advertising seem exploitative or even quaint. The Globe brewery lasted until 1963. In the “politically correct” environment of today some individuals and groups would like to pretend that a considerable part of the history of beer advertising was not based upon direct appeals to the prurient interests of men, traditionally the major consumers of beer in our society. Some of the earliest commercially produced advertising in this country featured attractive and partially clothed women on trays, lithographed prints and calendars. After prohibition ended in 1933, the use of this type of advertising continued and increased as the market became more competitive. What makes these Arrow Beer framed prints so unusual is the complete nudity shown. While many companies used pretty women to sell a product, this sort of nudity in an advertisement, while artistic, was rare. For the 1940’s these advertisements must have bordered on scandalous and were likely banished to taverns catering primarily to men or “stag” bars.




The original Arrow Beer “nudes” came framed in a plain rough sawn, unfinished frame, without glass. Several of the prints shown here are in the original frame. The dimensions of the framed prints are 24” wide x 36” high, printed on a smooth pressed paperboard. In 1974 the most well-known Arrow “nude” –“ Matchless Body” was reprinted on poster paper in a smaller size 16”wide x 26” high. This reproduction looks similar to the original, however, the wording is printed in white on the reprint, while the originals known are all printed in silver. Each Arrow “nude” is given a name which refers to both the model, as well as the beer in a clever play on words, hence both may be described as having “Matchless body” or as being the “One and only”. Seven of the known prints are by the previously mentioned Earl Moran, while the other two were painted by Zoe Mozert, both artists contracted to Brown & Bigelow. Few of these prints have been identified in collections.


Rememberence Advertising Print
A-1 Bare Facts
A-2 Matcless Body
A-3 Naked Truth
A-4 The One & Only
A-5 Work of Art
A-6 Mellow Moonlight
A-7 Superb
A-8 Spotlighted
A-9 Perfection
The following list identifies the print name, other wording, artist, and the number that have been identified in collections to date.
 
A-1 Bare Facts – ARROW BEER IS BETTER – It Costs More to Brew – Earl Moran (2)
       (this is the only print that bears the Globe Brewing Co. – Baltimore identification)
A-2 Matchless Body – ARROW BEER - - Earl Moran (4)
A-3 Naked Truth – ARROW BEER – Is Better – Earl Moran (1)
A-4 The One and Only – ARROW BEER – One Quality, One Standard, One Beer – Earl Moran – (3)
A-5 Work of Art – ARROW BEER – Money Can’t Buy Finer – Earl Moran – (4)
A-6 Mellow Moonlight – ARROW BEER – It Hits The Spot – Zoe Mozert – (8)
A-7 Superb – ARROW BEER – It Hits The Spot – Earl Moran – (6)
A-8 Spotlighted – ARROW BEER – It Hits the Spot – Earl Moran – (1)

A-9 Perfection – ARROW BEER – It Hits The Spot – Zoe Mozert – (4)

A-10 Matchless Body - ARROW BEER - (1974 reprint) – (n/a)

 
Background on the artists:
 
Earl Moran (1893 – 1984)

Earl Moran is regarded as one of the “big three” most important pin-up artists along with Alberto Vargas and George Petty. Originally from Iowa, Moran studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. He opened an art and photography studio in Chicago and after submitting paintings to Brown & Bigelow (B & B), the pin-up advertising agency, was signed to an exclusive contract in 1932. His paintings sold millions of calendars for B & B, becoming their best selling artist. In 1940, after LIFE magazine ran a feature story about his work, he attained celebrity status. Besides his calendar art, Moran provided nude art for various early men’s magazines. Relocating to California in 1946, he hired a young Norma Jean Dougherty as a model, who posed for him for four years. Norma Jean, of course, later became famous as Marilyn Monroe. Earl Moran enjoyed the life of celebrity in the “golden state” and Las Vegas, painting for B & B until 1957. He continued to paint for collectors until 1982.
 
Zoe Mozert (1907 – 1993)

The most famous and successful of the three female pin-up artists, she trained at Philadelphia School of Industrial Art and modeled at the nearby Women’s School of Design. After a move to New York she became successful designing covers for movie and romance magazines. One of her most famous works was the movie poster for the Howard Hughes movie “The Outlaw” starring Jane Russell. Brown & Bigelow, the prominent producer of pin-up art and calendars signed Zoe to an exclusive contract in 1941. She often posed for her own paintings by using cameras and mirrors to capture the pose, she would then paint the pin-up from the photo.
 

As a result of the information we have posted here regarding the Arrow Beer “nude” series of posters from the Globe Brewery of Baltimore, Maryland, we were contacted by a thirty-year collector of pin-up art calendars who has a theory of dating the prints in this series. Each of the Arrow Beer “girls” was also used on advertising calendars produced by Brown & Bigelow. His theory is that if the calendars were issued first, then the Arrow nudes likely followed within the span of one year. I would further clarify that by assuming that as each year’s calendar was offered to various advertisers, the same art was also offered to Globe brewery

To further detail the story of these rare pin-up advertising posters, most of the paintings have an original name, which was changed by Globe for better advertising effect. Here is a list with our identifying number, the Arrow Beer name, the corresponding calendar date, the original name of the painting and the artist. Once the Arrow pin-ups were put into this order based on the corresponding calendar dates, the subtle changes in the advertising below the art work made sense. With the passage of time, the ad wording changed, got larger, and settled on the “It Hits The Spot” slogan. The type face of the “A” in arrow was changed for the two final prints.

When Shadows Fall
Hop Gold Print
Leading Lady
   
ID #
Arrow Name
Calendar Date
Original Name
Artist
A-1
Bare Facts
1937
"The Artists Model"
Earl Moran
A-2
Matchless Body
1939
“Tomorrow’s Star”
Earl Moran
A-3
Naked Truth
1941
"Eve n' Tide"
Earl Moran
A-4
The One and Only
1942
“Starbright”
Earl Moran
A-5
Work of Art
1943
“A Modern Eve”
Earl Moran
A-6
Mellow Moonlight
1944
"Reaching for the Stars"
Zoe Mozert
A-7
Superb
1945
(no name)
Earl Moran
A-8
Spotlighted
1946
(no name)
Earl Moran
A-9
Perfection
1947
"Moonglow"
Zoe Mozert
A-10
Matchless Body (reprint)
none
"Tomorrow's Star"
Earl Moran

If it is assumed that Globe put out a new sign every year (sure looks like that’s what they were doing) then this list begs the question – where are the 1938 and 1940 Arrow “nudes”? The 1938 Brown & Bigelow image is the one pictured as the example of their “Remembrance Advertising”. Shown here as a 1938 calendar advertising The Star Brewing Co. of Vancouver, Washington for their “Hop Gold” beer. The 1940 B & B calendar image is described as a very much “Jean Harlow” looking nude. It seems possible that either / both could exist as Arrow Beer signs.
 
In 1974 the 1939 Arrow Beer pin-up “Matchless Body” was reproduced, along with a number of other early beer advertisements on poster paper in a smaller size 16” wide x 26” high. These were sold in several ways, as posters by mail order and in stores. A fairly common way to find the reproduction today is decoupaged to a wooden wall hanging. These wooden items are antique raisin boards, used in the early 1900’s to dry grapes in the sun and turn them into raisins. Here is a quote from the back label found on one of these raisin trays:
 

“In California’s warm fertile San Joaquin valley, wooden grape trays have been used for over a hundred years in the natural production of raisins. Workers placed the ripe grapes onto these trays where the sun dried them into sweet, juicy raisins. Now with the advent of the paper tray, these wooden trays have been replaced forever in the fields where they were developed.” “Each raisin board is 30 to 40 years old (in 1974) the scenes added are largely from [the] early 1900’s advertising or selected art.”

Globe Grapetray
Arrow Grapetray
A-10 Marchless Body Reprint

 

Through the Arrow Nudes page of the ECBA website; www.eastcoastbrew.com, we have recently been contacted by a young man who discovered what appeared to be another different Arrow Beer nude. Although cut down, with the advertising at the bottom portion removed, the very top of several silver colored letters remains at the bottom edge. The print is on the same type of pressed paperboard that was used for the other Arrow Beer "nudes".
 

 

Hearty thanks are in order to the following folks for sharing their information, their artwork, and in producing photos to share in this publication:

Veronica & Dave Donovan,
Art Distelrath,
Sue & Bill Norris
and Larry Handy

 

19XX - Newly Discovered
 


There are nine original Arrow nudes identified here, and one 1974 reproduction of “Matchless Body”. It is not known if others exist, as these are the only ones that have been positively identified for this article. If any collector reading this is aware of others, please contact the author through the above email address so we might expand the knowledge of this rare series.