Friday, February 5

Undying Admiration for Big Hilda and Her Artist, Duane Bryers


Back in 2006, I began blogging. At some point shortly thereafter, I began sprinkling my posts with images of Big Hilda, the red-headed, voluptuous creation of Duane Bryers. At the time, there weren't too many images of Hilda online. 

The "Hilda" posts were some of my readers' favorites. While some may say, perhaps rightfully, that pinups of any kind are demeaning, in Hilda, the artist created a character who seemed real. She was more Everywoman than Pinup. In fact, she thumbed her nose at the contemporary ideal of beauty.

Hilda wore her heart on her sleeve - and sometimes little else. She was funny, brave, a bit clumsy, loving, and strong. In all her depictions, you see someone happy with herself, and busy living a sweet and simple life. 

How I wish there were a real Hilda! But I wonder, if Hilda were a real woman, would she be so happy and confident, or would she spend her life thinking she was "too fat" and bleaching her red hair into blonde and wearing what everyone else wears? 

I was so awestruck when I first "met" Hilda that I began a relentless pursuit of obtaining vintage images of her, both online and actual printed materials.

Some images I have only been able to find online. Many times, the scans of her are faded, distorted, or discolored. I use my Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro programs to try to bring her back to her former glory. And she was glorious!

Here is one of my favorite Hildas. She is always fussing over her pets, reading, knitting, gardening or in the great outdoors, and she definitely enjoys her little potbellied stove and her long johns during cold weather. 

I hope you will like Hilda as much as I do.

6 Elf-Friends have commented... :

  • Joanne Noragon

    I first met Hilda on Cathy Webster's blog, a few years ago. She has lots of admirers.

  • Paula Kaye

    This is my first introduction to Hilda! But I love her already! In fact, I think she could be any one of us!! Thank you for sharing

  • Olde Dame Penniwig

    Gosh, I must learn to spell:

    Joanne - yes, Hilda was rediscovered when the internet took off, and after Bryer's death in 2012, she really got noticed. I have quite a few old calendars featuring her that I bought over 10 years ago. I doubt I could afford them now. I predict she will become very "collectible."

    Paula - I'm glad you're meeting Hilda! My favorite image of her I'll post later - it's the flour sack 2-piece bathing suits she likes to wear.

  • Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art

    She's fabulous! I've never seen her before either but am so glad you shared her with us, Hilda's of the world unite! Deb xo

  • goodnightgram

    My first reaction was that Hilda resembled a young Shirley Booth. Remember her from the tv show Hazel?

  • Lil Raggedy Angie

    I am very into "pinup" style and such , and I so LOVE Hilda , she and I could be kindred Souls ! Sisters even !

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Halloo dearies! Glad t'see you and thanks for any kind comments.