Bunny Yeager

Bunny Yeager: The Legendary Queen of the Pin-Up

 

Pittsburgh native Bunny Yeager moved to Miami at the age of 17 in the late 1940s and quickly became one of the most photographed models of that city’s booming beach culture. After winning a beauty pageant that she entered to overcome her shyness, she went on to appear in countless pinup pictures and soon became the face of Miami and its sun-infused lifestyle. In the 50s, Yeager enrolled in photography school so that she could turn her own modeling career into a profession on the other side of the camera. She was never shy about approaching potential models on the beach or even at the bus stop, and her warm nature and constant smile aided her well in convincing her models to pose in the nude. As a woman photographer shooting female models, Yeager was able to bring out a level of comfort and ease in her models that ogling male photographers could never achieve. As a result, Yeager’s pictures soon started appearing on the covers of pin-up magazines around the country, and she became known as one of the best glamour photographers in the nation. Her iconic images of Bettie Page made her even more famous, and her pictures of Bettie and many other models graced the pages and covers of Playboy Magazine, with whom she worked for decades after establishing a close friendship with Hugh Hefner that continues to this day.

While she continued shooting celebratory images of the female form, Yeager also began writing about the technical aspects of pin-up photography, and over the course of her career published over 30 books on the subject. In addition to doing shoots on and in the beaches, private homes and hotels of Miami, Yeager also traveled internationally, taking photos in Mexico, Guatemala, and Jamaica, where she shot publicity photos of actress Ursula Andress in her role as Bond girl Honey Ryder in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. In 1965, Yeager was commissioned by Playboy to take publicity portraits of the first group of hired beauties at Miami’s new Playboy Club, some of which are displayed in the Playboy Redux exhibition also on this floor of the museum. Yeager actively photographed models well into the last decade, and continues to live and work in Miami where she now focuses on promoting her photographs while working on new books and projects relating to her huge archive of images.

Her first museum show at The Warhol Museum was a survey of self-portrait photographs. Her book, "How I Photograph Myself," published in 1964 by A.S. Barnes & Co., featured hundreds of self-portraits in which Yeager takes on many different looks, styles and moods. In some images, we see a blonde bombshell frolicking in the waves, and in others, we see a stunning brunette straddling the staircase of a large beachfront mansion. Yeager always styled her own backdrops, props and costumes—often making objects and bathing suits from materials at hand. Her unique self-portrait techniques certainly foreshadow the work of contemporary artists Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa Morimura, known for their own masquerade-based self-portraiture.

Eric C. Shiner
The Warhol Museum
Milton Fine Curator of Art

 

Bunny Yeager

b. 1929 Wilkinsburg, PA

Lived and worked in North Miami, FL

d. 2014, Miami, FL

EDUCATION

1940s  Coronet Modeling School and Agency

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2015  How I Photograph Myself, Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles

2014  Bunny’s Bombshells, Sin City Gallery in cooperation with Gallery Schuster Berlin and  Gallery
          Schuster Miami, Las Vegas      

2013  Bunny Yeager: Both Sides of the Camera, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale in cooperation with Galerie
          Schuster Berlin, Fort Lauderdale Pin-up Girls Bunny, Sofia Vault, Bulgaria

Bunny Yeager’s New Studio Opening and Swimsuit Fashion Presentation, Bunny Yeager Studio in cooperation with Center for Visual Communication, Miami, FL

2012  Bunny Yeager – Femme Fatale, Gallery Schuster, Berlin, Germany

          Bunny Yeager: Retrospective to the Future, Dezer Schauhalle, Miami, FL

          Bunny Yeager – Funland Photographie, Gallery Schuster, Potsdam, Germany

2011  The Fabulous Bunny Yeager, Harold Golen Gallery, Miami, FL

2010  Bunny Yeager: The Legendary Queen of the Pinup, The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh

ARTIST BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS
2014  Bettie Page: Queen of Curves. New York: Rizzoli.

2012  Bunny Yeager's Beautiful Backsides. Atglen: Schiffer

          Bunny Yeager's Darkroom: Pin-up Photography's Golden Era. New York: Rizzoli

2009  Bunny Yeager's Bouffant Beauties: Big-Hair Pin-up Girls of the ’60s and     ’70s. Atglen: Schiffer
2007  Bunny Yeager's Flirts of the Fifties. Atglen: Schiffer

          Bikini Girl Postcards by Bunny Yeager: Shore Wish You Were Here! Atglen: Schiffer

2004  Bunny Yeager's Bikini Girls of the 1950s. Atglen: Schiffer

2002  Bunny Yeager's Pin-up Girls of the 1950s. Atglen: Schiffe

1995  Bunny's Honeys: Bunny Yeager, Queen of Pin-Up Photography. Cologne: Taschen

          Thirty Postcards. Cologne: Taschen

1994  Bettie Page Confidential. New York: St. Martin's

1967  Camera in Jamaica. New York: A. S. Barnes & Company

1965  100 Girls: New Concept in Glamour Photography. New York: A.S. Barnes

          Camera in the Caribbean. Louisville: Whitestone

          Drawing the Human Figure Using Photographs. New York: A.S. Barnes

1964  How I Photograph Myself. New York: A.S. Barnes

1963  How I Photograph Nudes. New York: A.S. Barnes

          Bunny Yeager's New Photo Discoveries

          ABC's of Figure Photography. Louisville: Whitestone

          How to Photograph the Figure. Louisville: Whitestone

1962   The Art of Glamour Photography. New York: Amphoto

           How to Take Figure Photos. Louisville: Whitestone

1960    Bunny Yeager's Photo Studies. Louisville: Whitestone

1957    Photographing the Female Figure. Greenwich: Fawcett

BIBLIOGRAPHY – SOLO EXHIBITION CATALOGUES

2015    Gavlak Gallery Solo Show, “How I Photograph Myself” , Los Angeles

Press

Associated Press, “Model turned pin-up photographer back in the spotlight at 83,” New York Daily News, June 27, 2013.

Associated Press, “Model turned pin-up photographer, Bunny Yeager returns to spotlight after 50 years,” Fox 411, June 26, 2013.

Betker, Ally. “First Look: bunny Yeager’s Darkroom, a Book on the hPhotographer Who Put Bettie Page on the Map,” New York Magazine, August 31, 2012.

Corliss, Richard. “Bunny and Bettie: The Photographer Who Immortalized a ‘50s Se Goddess,” Time, May 27, 2014.

Fox, Margalit, “Bunny Yeager, Pinup Portraitist, Dies at 85”, New York Times, May 25 2014

Davies, Lucy, “How Bunny Yeager invented the pin-up”, The Telegraph, May 28 2014

Laboy, Suzette “Bunny yeager, Pin-Up Photographer and Model, Returns to the Spotlight”, Huffpost Miami, August 26 2013

La Ferla, Ruth. “A Treasure Awaits for Vintage Pinup collectors,” The New York times, March 15, 2012.

La Ferla, Ruth. “Beyond Bunny Yeager’s Lens, a Shy Pinup,” The New York times: On the Runway, May 18, 2011.

Crandell, Ben. “Bunny Yeager: The woman who made Bettie Page”, SouthFlorida.com, June 20 2013

Richard, Andrea. “Pinup Photographer Bunny Yeager Makes a Comeback With Two South Florida Shows,” WLRN, May 26, 2014.

Schudel, Matt. “Bunny Yeager dies; revealing images of Bettie Page helped define art of erotic photography,” Washington Post, May 28, 2014.

Solomon, Tara. “bunny Yeager Talks Old-School Miami Glamour, Bettie Page and the Future of the Pin-Up,” HuffPost Miami, October 24, 2012.

Suarez De Jesus, Carlos, ““The Fabulous Bunny Yeager” at Harold Golen Gallery”, Miami New Time, May 5 2011

Press

Fox News
Model turned pin-up photographer, Bunny Yeager returns to spotlight after 50 years
Huffington Post
Bunny Yeager, Pin-up Photographer, Returns To Spotlight
Huffington Post
Bunny Yeager Talks Old-School Miami Glamour, Bettie Page and the Future of the Pin-Up
Warhol Museum
Bunny Yeager: The Legendary Queen of the Pin-Up
New York Times
A Treasure Awaits for Vintage Pinup Collectors
New York Times
Beyond Bunny Yeager’s Lens, a Shy Pinup
New York Times
Bunny Yeager, the Pinup’s Pinup Maker