1913 - 1988


I wanted to show how his illustrations were more than slick exercises in Fifties erotica, celebrations of Girlies Smouldering. So here is a new Menu that tries to include wherever possible the entirety of the page/double spread.

What is he good at? ( a temporary list this)

What does he attempt beyond the call of duty?

What games does he play?

How does he change stylistically (1948-1965)? Work this out for yourself.


Outlines, sureness and originality in overlapping

Compositional freshness across a two page spread

Stripes and to a lesser extent, pattern fields that switch archly between flatness and the illusions of depth. No-one has ever introduced so many tassles to the termination of textiles.

Layers of textures and transparent glazes, hard and soft, opaque and transparent, see through and peek-a-boo

Armpits, often an anatomical feature avoided by many American illustrators of this period. Du Maurier memorably called them "armpit flesh folds" and was clearly revolted

• the range of rhetorical expression in women's glances from behind the hanging curtians of hair (Veronica Lake) coupled with the mobile armoury of eye-brow,



COVER January 1952; the space between shawl and fender; the striped column as fulcrum

COVER March 1961; ignoring the anonymous bundle babies, the Nurse as Pin-Up

COVER October 1955 tassles and gloves

MARCH 1958,the witty pyjama jacket sleeve and the turned down sheet

TAKE ME TO HOLLYWOOD the highlight on the belt; the peek-a-boo bang (appearing from behind her own hair) ; the finest armpit you could ever see

THE GIRL HE JILTED, look at the collar with its high illusion safety pin contrasting with flat dusty spots on her dress, and here is one of his best lower lips EVER

SLAP ME, tension in the composition, different paint handling for moths and the sailor top, cute this?

ONE WOMAN'S DREAM, a personal gallery of contrasting painting styles, Uncle Herman in a German turn of the century impasted style (Lovis Corinth?)

THE CRITICAL YOUNG MAN, his most exciting composition, full of charming contrasts and puzzles, the lattice leg table and so many great games with the mirror reflection

SECOND CLASS MARRIAGE the ardour of the embrace sure, but don't ignore the deployment of auto fittings, metallic bits floating free against the inner colour of the fabric. All around you see the paraphernalia of locking and unlocking in the car, closing and opening, yet her hands are clearly locking up her sex, albeit provisionally

TIME FOR COURTSHIP exercises in Vuillard for Sixties America

LADT IN BLUE a Fantin-Latour still life as a foil to her dress

LOVE COMES TO MISS LUCAS, a double page of downpour, notice how she is interfering with the strap on his Kodak. How forward can a girl get?

HEAT OF DYING, rhythms of slat and lattice, fretwork illuminated by a strange oblique light, curious bleeding of paint handling back onto the left hand page

BEACH SCENE, amusing games with beach umbrellas


His form games are not purely for their own sake, but record the minutiae of the smart life of the time, and the ways in which men and women collide for mutual pleasure. If Degas wanted to document the ways in which Hats were Doffed, it is no great claim that Whitmore was chronicling the codification of the Great Flirt. Somebody had to do it.