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To mark the 100th birthday of Peter Gowland ZEPHYR - Space for Photography in Mannheim & Reiss-Engelhorn Museums curated "Peter Gowland's Girls", the first international exhibition of his lifework.  "Peter Gowland’s Girls" showcases some 200 works selected from Peter Gowland’s estate, which comprises tens of thousands of superb prints and slides, including the most sensational, most elegant and most daring pictures from his unparalleled career as a pin-up photographer. The exhibition displays his portraits of stars like Joan Collins and Jayne Mansfield, his work for “Playboy” and “Rolling Stone”, and his pictures for innumerable calendars and magazines from the 1940s to the 1970s.

The pictures you’ll discover in Peter Gowland’s Girls* are a snapshot of days past but have remained stunningly ageless all the same. Peter Gowland’s Girls* are at the beach and at the pool, veiled by lace and draperies or outdoors in nature. They are stylishly elegant or athletically wholesome. Whether they appear to be ladies or “girls next door”, they always remain wonderfully animated targets of fantasies.

Peter Gowland (1916 – 2010) started taking glamour and pin-up photographs of young woman in and around Los Angeles in 1946. In 1954, The New York Times called him “America’s No. 1 Pin-up Photographer” early into his career and later situated his pictures “someplace between titillation and art.”

Peter Gowland found his models on Hollywood film sets and at agencies or beauty contests. He posed and photographed them in his studio or on the beaches from Los Angeles to Malibu, thus contributing significantly to the myth of California as a perpetually sunny postwar paradise. His style combines feminine beauty with natural wholesomeness, alluring poses and elegant composition.



Museum of Applied Arts Cologne

June 9th 2018 - September 9th 2018

Please go to for more information.  

If you are intersted in purchasing a print from the show please contact us here.

Mannheim Reiss-Engelhorn Museums

October 9th 2016 - January 29th 2017

Please go to or more information.  

If you are intersted in purchasing a print from the show please contact us here.

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