Bunny Yeager

 Bunny Yeager was one of the first photographers to photograph her models outdoors with natural light. Matt Schudel wrote in The Washington Post that her images were vivid and dynamic, going on to say, “She favored active poses and a direct gaze at the camera lens, in what could be interpreted alternately as playful innocence or pure lust.”

Yeager met Bettie Page in 1954, and took most of the photographs of her that year.  During their brief collaboration she took over 1,000 pictures of Page.  Along with photographer Irving Klaw, Yeager played a role in helping to make Page famous, particularly with her photos in Playboy magazine.  American Photo magazine described Yeager’s work with Page as “a body of imagery that remains some of the most memorable — and endearing — erotica on record” in a 1993 article. The most famous images of Page by Yeager include the January 1955 Playboy centerfold in which she kneels wearing only a Santa hat while hanging a silver ornament on a Christmas tree and a series of photographs with a pair of live cheetahs.

Yeager was a very prolific and successful pinup photographer in the 1950s and 1960s, so much so, that her work was described as ubiquitous in that era.  She continued to work extensively with Playboy shooting eight centerfolds in addition to covers and pictorial spreads.  Yeager also appeared in the magazine as a model five times.  One appearance with the headline, “Queen of the Playboy Centerfolds”, was photographed by Hugh Hefner. 

In early 2010, The Andy Warhol Museum held the first major museum exhibition of Yeager’s work.  The exhibit, “The Legendary Queen of the Pin Up” featured her self-portraits, some from her book How I Photograph Myself published by A.S. Barnes & Co. in 1964.  “The Fabulous Bunny Yeager” an exhibit in 2011 at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami also featuring self-portraits by Yeager was of photographs that had not been exhibited previously. She has since exhibited at Art Basel through the Gavlak Gallery of Palm Beach/Los Angels, as well as an exhibition at Sin City Gallery.   

She has been cited as influencing many artists and photographers including Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman and Yasumasa Morimura.  Arbus called her, “the world’s greatest pinup photographer.”

The vintage prints offered via Sin City Gallery have outstanding provenance. Limited edition prints available at the Gavlak Gallery.