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Does anyone know of a place where I can find examples of saloon art? You know, the scantily or less clad woman reclining on a couch or such.
The type of paintings that we see hanging over bars in western films?
My wife has an early 1900's couch that she just had recovered to period style and I am wanting to take some photos of her in the style of these paintings.

Were these really as prevelant as we are lead to believe in the movies? I understand that some dirtwater town isn't going to have something like this but the nicer saloons I could see having art hanging above the bar.

Any reccommendations for sites or artists who created such things would be appreciated.

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You might check with Bob Wood, hes up on old west antiques and furnishings. Check his members page for his website. You never know what he'll have for sale on that site. Also check legendsofamerica.com.
Six
Sixgun,

Thanks for the mention. Scott did contact me and I responded to his message. I gave him a handful of Western Artists and some actual photos of there works.

I really like this website. I have been accused of being the welcome wagon on this site by some folks and the site refrence guide by others. BBB did all of us a great service by allowing its creation. I assume you have been to my page, all of the weapons and artifacts in my pics are items I have brokered for collectors. I have been a consignment broker for over ten years and enjoy the job/hobby. Just wish I had enough business to make a living doing it. I have sold over 600 antique handguns and long guns during that time. Im currently working with an elderly gent, whose ticket has been punched by his doctor, here that has a 100 piece collection. At the time of his demise I will be offering those peices not prescribed in his will for auction. I will post these pics at that time so twmag folks get to see em first. Anything I can find or research for you in the Fort Smith region let me know.
Six

Bob, I finally have a machine & monitor that let me look at your saloon-nudes galleries.  The upper right hand image in Gallery 3 is reminiscent of what was, for a time in the teens thru the maybe even the '50s of the last century, the single most famous/notorious female nude painting in the US.  It was called 'September Morn.'

 

It wasn't a particulary memorable painting.  It showed a young woman, completely nude, outdoors, standing in a pool of water, covering her crotch with one hand & her breast with the other arm, concealing one nipple but not the other, with something of an astonished look on her face, as though she's just realized she's being looked at.  The artist wasn't particularly talented and the quality of the painting wasn't all that great.

 

The gallery owner was a genius.  He put the picture in his Boston showroom window & hired a half-dozen teenage boys to ogle it.  Then he had Anthony Comstock told about it.  Comstock was the original 'banned in Boston' guy.  He went ballistic!  The gallery owner had to take the painting out of the window, but the publicity caused it to be sold for a bundle.  There were prints of it all over the country, for a time 'September morn' was an euphemism for 'gettin' ketched nekkid,' & I recall seeing, in the '50s, an HO-scale figure based on the painting that could be placed in an obscure place on an HO railroad layout to act as a sort of surprise.

I've had so many requests for photos of Saloon Nudes I put a site up. For anyone interested you can check it out at: http://saloonnudes.weebly.com/

 

Enjoy!!!

A very popular piece of art that hung in a lot of saloons wasn't a nude at all.  It was a print of a painting called 'Custer's Last Stand.'  It was about as historically accurate as the Errol Flynn/Ronald Reagan movie about Custer, but it was large & colorful.  I think the prints were distributed by Anheuser-Busch, but I'm not sure.  Those prints, today, are very collectible.  There was one in a bar & cafe called 'Martin's Kumbak Place' in Austin--we knew it as Dirty Martin's or just Dirty's when I lived there--as late as the '60s, but the last time I was there--in the '80s--it was gone.

Bob, thanks for the great site. Sence we talked I have gone on a search for images to get inspiration for the photos I intend to shoot. No, I still haven't taken them but they are on the top of the list for this summer. Although I have hundreds of other artsy nudes of my wife I still want to recreate this romantic image. The lighting will be the tricky part as she already has a turn of the century couch similar to many in the paintings. Satiny sheets are easy enough to come by as well.

C.F., yes I actually use that image in a lesson I teach on native American art. I compare it and several others painted by people who were not there to Kicking Bear's (a participant in the battle) version created at the behest of Buffalo Bill. It now hangs in the Smithsonian.

 

This is another reason why this site is true greatness.

I've seen a copy of a letter written by E. S. C. Godfrey after he retired.  It was to an artist, but I don't recall which one.  The guy was researching the fight for a painting, & since Godfrey was there--a shavetail with Benteen--he asked Godfrey about the weapons.  Godfrey heavily emphasized the fact that no one had a saber. 

 

If there was a saber in that fight, it was carried by a Cheyenne or a Lakota, not a trooper. Each trooper had 2 Colt SAAs, chambered & sighted for the Schofield ctg.  Custer himself had a pair of DA Webley RIC models, bright plated--possibly silver--with ivory grips.  Tom Custer also had a pair of DA Webleys, blue steel, but they're in a museum someplace.  I've seen photos of 'em.  George's Webleys have never turned up. They may be in the Wounded Knee monument. 

I have to apologize to Jeff.  This is kinda off-topic, but I'd like to know what happened to that painting.

 

  Charley,

      That Anheuser- Busch print was called Custer's Last Fight and first appeared in 1896 and was printed and distributed for several decades.I have an original 1896 stone lithograph in it's original ornate gilt frame.Later examples from around 1930 on were photo offset printed and the very last examples have a fold it yourself integral cardboard frame!As an interesting aside there is a photograph of Campbell and Hatch's Parlor supposedly from the Earp era.If one looks closely one can see this print!It always pays to check the details.Hopefully,I too my be forgiven for this digression!

Apology accepted.  I think most saloon art was nudes.  I've even seen a photo of a saloon backbar where the supporting posts were semi-nude women--covered from the hips down, but bare-breasted.  It was from the 1890s.  I've also seen some 'saloon nudes' that were a buncch less artistic than what's been posted here. 

 

I used to know a guy in Ft. Worth--he's dead now--who had a 'saloon nude' from a Ft. Worth speakeasy out of the '20s.  It was only about 18"x2', but it was a full-frontal, hand-tinted photo with everything uncovered & on view.  She'd even been shaved.  It was probably a photo of a local hooker.  She definitely had a 1920s hair style, so the photo wasn't old when it was hanging in the speak.  The guy had a whole collection of stuff from Ft. Worth speaks, but I don't know what happened to it when he died. 

 

Ft. Worth was every bit as wide open as Chicago during prohibiion, & it had almost as many gangsters as Chicago did.  Ben Binion of Vegas fame got his start in Ft. Worth, running illegal gambling & a speak.

Now I'm going to have to try and recreate that amazing photo from this month's issue of Raquel Welch! Holy moly!

There's a humdinger of a nude hanging in the Genoa Bar. It's not Victorian vintage, sad to say, but it's a beaut. Maybe they'll part with it; maybe not.

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