Review: Striptease Artists of the 1950’s

Dear Constant Reader,

I have another book for you!

Striptease Artists of the 1950s by Bunny Yeager (2008).

Yes, it’s yet another collection of vintage photographs of burlesque performers. But this one is special. Unlike collections like Burlesque Exotic Dancers of the 50s & 60s, The Queens of Burlesque: Vintage Photographs of the 1940s and 1950s, or The Bare Truth: Stars of Burlesque From the '40s and '50s it’s not a selection of promotional photos, but one photographer’s work. And that photographer happens to be Bunny Yeager, pin-up model and discoverer of Bettie Page. She shot the iconic Playboy photo of Bettie trimming a Christmas tree wearing nothing but a Santa hat, as well as my favorite, the jungle series.

There are selections of cheesecake photos, like Evelyn West at the beach and Jennie Lee at home (including one of her balanced on the outside of a staircase that makes me a little nervous) and some candids, like on the set of Blaze Starr Goes Nudist. At the very end, there’s a little section on neo-burlesque with photos of Kitten de Ville and Michelle L’amour (taken right after she won Miss Exotic World and was still known as “Toots”).

The most wonderful thing about this book is that some of the photo series were taken during burlesque shows. She captured all of Dixie Evans doing her “Prince and the Showgirl” act. There are action shots of Lilly Christine, the sultry Cat Girl, and some of performers I hadn’t known of before. These images are historical gold.

I’m sad to report that between the time I received this book and wrote this review, Bunny Yeager died. In memoriam, Michelle L’amour shares a little about her shoot with Ms. Yeager and some of the more classic pin-up photos that didn’t make it into the book.


Published in: on 28 May 2014 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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