Peek-A-View Volume 1 front cover

Front cover for Peek-A-View Volume 1

Published in 2007 by Metro Books

I imagined that these books would be relatively simple because both books consist wholly of reproductions of pinups from the 1930s through the 1960s.  However, each time I sat to try to write it, I was left with the nagging feeling that something was missing from my review.  Eventually I realized that the thing missing from my review was the same thing that was missing in the books: context.

While the pinup reproductions are printed fairly well, there is no accompanying text to the books.  While the subtitle says that the books contain pinups from the 1930s through the 1960s, there is virtually no other information available about the images inside.  While I do know some of the history of pinup art, many people do not.  As I looked at the book with the lack of information in mind, I was left with several questions.  Among them: What is the significance of pinup art?  Where did pinup art appear? Who made pinup art? Why? In the book, why were these images in particular chosen? Are they supposed to represent the best pinups in the editor’s opinion?  Perhaps they are representative samples from the major artists of the pinup era?  Perhaps they represent the works of one or two major collections?  Are these works all from American artists? The list goes on and on.

Peek-A-View Volume 2 front cover

Front cover for Peek-A-View Volume 2

Sadly, it would not have taken the compiler(s) much time or space to answer these questions, and answering them would have done much to not only give the images and subject matter a place in time and culture, it would have made both the book and its images more significant.

While the books are not printed on the highest quality of paper or with the greatest printing techniques, they are adequate reproductions of pinup art.  Also, the images in these books are only printed on one side of the page, so if you would like to cut them out to use as pinups or frame them as art, you can easily do so without having to agonize over which side of the page to use, assuming you find the book cheaply enough. However, if you want something more than art reproductions, this book is very disappointing.