Petty Girl Ice Capades

Reaseach by Clarence Simonsen

Petty Girl Ice Capades “unknown” model
1943-1948

If you Google the two names Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, you will learn both were art dealers, collectors, and both had the world’s largest collection of commercial illustration and contemporary art housed in their own galleries. In addition to this art, both men had saved the world’s largest collection of illustrated pin-up art, which had been exhibited in many American and European museums. Close friends and partners, they were working on the publication titled “The Great American Pin-Up” when Charles Martignette received a letter from photographer Robert B. Kohl.

The story is below in PDF form.

Text version without images

Petty Girl Ice Capades “unknown” model 

1943-1948

If you Google the two names Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel, you will learn both were art dealers, collectors, and both had the world’s largest collection of commercial illustration and contemporary art housed in their own galleries. In addition to this art, both men had saved the world’s largest collection of illustrated pin-up art, which had been exhibited in many American and European museums. Close friends and partners, they were working on the publication titled “The Great American Pin-Up” when Charles Martignette received a letter from photographer Robert B. Kohl. 

The letter detailed Kohl had a collection of 45 black and white 5”x 7” and 8” x 10” images taken of an unknown nude model used by artist George Petty. After their purchase by Martignette, the photos were sent to Louis Meisel but never published. In 2008, Martignette died of a heart attack and his huge collection of original pin-up art was left to his best friend Louis K. Meisel. Today [2021] Meisel describes himself as a “different kind of collector” and the only real world collector of original illustrator pin-up paintings. In 2019, a few of his original black and white unknown nude model images taken for George Petty were released by Louis Meisel for sale in his Gallery, and these were purchased by Peter Perrault. In the last year a few more nude model images have surfaced and again were purchased by Peter for his Petty Girl collection. [unknown third Petty Girl nude model]

George Petty painted his first Ice Capades poster in 1942, featuring skating star Belita.

It is now believed the 1942 poster was painted using posed nude photos from the unknown model hired by George Petty. To date no known images have appeared to confirm this possibility, however they might still survive.  [Peter Perrault collection]

The 1943 and 1944 Ice Capades posters were in fact created from photos taken of the unknown nude model assisted by Marjorie Petty and two photo assistants. 

The 1945 to 1948 covers were also created from photos taken of the nude unknown model at George Huka and Robert Kohl “Photo Color Studios” in Chicago.

In March 2021, Peter Perrault contacted Louis Meisel in regards to the lost Petty nude model images and a few more images were released by Paul Mcdermott of the Meisel Art Gallery. The above image was taken at the George Hukar and Robert Kohl Photo Color Studios in Chicago, posed for George Petty cover art of the 1948 Ice Capades poster. This image was rejected and I’m positive many more photos were taken of this same pose. 

This is the pose selected by artist George Petty for his 1948 Ice Capades cover and poster painting, featuring the body of his ‘secret’ unknown model.

A black and white photo taken of the finished Petty Girl painting. The very same art was used on the cover of Ice Cycles magazine program of 1949.

Internet signed cover for the 1948 Ice Capades, body from secret nude model.

Special thanks to Louis Meisel and Peter Perrault for preserving this secret Petty past.

2 thoughts on “Petty Girl Ice Capades

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s