RIP: Bunny Yeager, Model-Turned-Photographer Who Smashed The Glass Ceiling Of Pin-Up Portraiture & Mainstreamed Bettie Page, Dead @ 85


NEW  YORK TIMES: Bunny Yeager, a model-turned-photographer whose images of a scarcely clad Bettie Page, embodying feral sexuality and winsome naïveté all at once, helped propel Ms. Page to international stardom as a midcentury pinup queen, died on Sunday in North Miami, Fla. She was 85. The cause was congestive heart failure, said her agent, Ed Christin. Ms. Yeager, who took up her art by accident, was one of the world’s most celebrated photographers of female nudes and near-nudes of the 1950s and ’60s. She is widely credited with helping turn the erotic pinup — long a murky enterprise in every sense of the word — into high photographic art. Her work appeared in Playboy, for which she shot a string of centerfolds, and in a spate of postwar men’s magazines whose names — Cavalier, Escapade, Nugget, Fling, Sunbathing, National Police Gazette, Figure Quarterly — recall a bygone era of salacious innocence. Yeager’s work, which fell dormant in the 1970s and remained so for decades as many of those magazines folded, has lately enjoyed a renaissance. MORE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Bunny Yeager had success as a model in Miami in the 1950s, but she wanted to be a photographer. She saw her chance when she met the little-known Bettie Page, who had modeled for under-the-counter photo sets that specialized in sadomasochism. Yeager took a somewhat more wholesome, holiday-themed photo of Page — nude except for a Santa hat — and in 1955 sent it off to fledgling magazine Playboy. “I figured because they were new they might pay attention to an amateur, and that’s what happened,” she told the London Telegraph in 2012. The photo launched her career as one of the most successful pinup photographers, often with Page — who became an international sex symbol — as her model. in. In recent years, along with a revival of interest in Page, who died in 2008, there was much renewed appreciation for Yeager’s photography. Her work was the subject of several gallery and museum shows, such as the “Bunny Yeager: The Legendary Queen of the Pinup” exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in 2010. MORE