Our internet friend Steffi discovered this wonderful webpage, with dozens of pictures from the vintage Hilda calendars, painted by Duane Bryers. (The host of this page is a different artist who also paints plus-size women; Francesca will post some of his “pin-ups” next week.)
Here we go. Hilda!
From the website: “[These] are many of Duane Bryers’ incredible Hilda paintings done specifically for Bigelow & Brown’s Hilda calendars. These were illustrated between 1957 and 1970 … They were primarily rendered in watercolor employing the service of a number of plus-size models, but more often than not, he used no model at all, a feat most impressive.”
Francesca loves the life and personality in these paintings. Hilda seems like a real person that the Francesca could know.