Paige Young Images Used In Art and Merchandise. Paintings By Paige Young. (Updated 11/08/21)

By Mel Ramos. Ramos painted numerous images based on the Playmates, their bodies entwined and/or emerging out of consumer products with a brand label showing. Soda cans, candy bars, Chiquita bananas etc.
Collage by artist Martha Rosler. Rosler created a series of collages utilizing images of the Playboy Playmates. . Rosler appropriated the image of Paige from the January 1969 issue of Playboy. See Chapter 1970 #2
Paige’s image on left, this is an incomplete set of “Sip and Strip” barware, very popular in the 70s. You might have seen these at a store like Spencer’s. There should be white paint to cover the nudity until the user fills the glass with ice and liquid, but on these glasses, it has been worn off. Gowland either sold the rights to these photos to the company who produced the novelty glasses OR he sold the rights to someone who then sold them to the production company.

Lid of Paige Young puzzle with “mini-centerfold.”
Puzzle can with Paige Young centerfold image courtesy of Duke Haney.

According to author LA writer Duke Haney:

“The successful Playmate puzzle series was released periodically, in groups of 4 Playmates at a time. Paige’s “group” included Cynthia Myers, Gwen Wong and DeDe Lind and was released in 70/71.

Haney describes the lid of the Playmate puzzle:

“The mini-centerfold measures 3×6.5 and two were two included with every puzzle. One was folded so that only the face of the girl was visible through the opaque cap on the can. This was so that the buyer knew which puzzle it was, which Playmate. There are four pictured on the can itself. Then there was another mini-centerfold inside the can. This one wasn’t creased like the one below the lid. These pictures were guides to be referenced while piecing together the puzzle. Only one would have been necessary but hey…”

Finished puzzle of the Paige Young centerfold. Image courtesy of Duke Haney

Haney says Playmates “never received residuals, Playboy owned the photos outright.” and that “The last of the puzzles were released in 1973, so Paige would have certainly been alive when her puzzle was released.”

*NOTE* All of images of Paige’s paintings that follow, were publicly posted on Pinterest and Facebook.

“Monica and Gort” by Paige Young.
The Laundry Girl posted on Pinterest
By Paige Young

PETER GOWLAND’S GIRLS exhibit and book curated by Thom Schrimbock 2016

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. from petergowlandphotography.com

Photo below is from the book “Peter Gowland’s Girls.” Labeled “Unknown”

Outtake from a Gowland a Playboy session. Peter Gowland. Compare to “Unknown” photo above.
Another scuba photo not published. Paige’s published centerfold scuba photos show her in the water in full scuba gear while her companion spears a sea creature.
Cover of an art book featuring a Martha Rosler collage. Paige Young appears in the upper right corner, mirroring Sally Sheffield, May 1969. Image is distorted due to enlarging.

Context: 1964,1965. More On Paige’s Lawyer Marvin Mitchelson. Who Is Photographer Peter Gowland?

1964 At this stage, after winning 1 million for Pamela Mason, Marvin Michelson has a steadily increasing clientele, consisting primarily of Beverly Hills and Hollywood women against rich and powerful men; most often their husbands. Paige Young is one of his divorcing clients who has no money to pay him up front.

NEW YORK, NY – CIRCA 1979: Marvin Mitchelson, Celebrity divorce lawyer circa 1979 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images)

Later this year, Michelson represents legendary lyricist Alan Lerner’s estranged wife, Micheline.

LAT Dec. 22, 1964

Mark F. Segal came from a fairly well off Sherman Oaks family. Father Harold Segal owned a thriving car business according to friend and potential car thief Rex Ramsey. Still he wasn’t in a league with rich and famous My Fair Lady composer Alan Lerner.

Both men did have a couple things in common: estranged wives represented by rising lawyer Marvin M. Michelson. The other is being found in contempt of court by failing to pay alimony to these estranged wives.

1965-Marvin Michelson goes hard on Mark Segal this year. For every month Mark fails to make his monthly alimony payment to Paige and the lawyer’s fees, Michelson files a contempt suit in court.

And it turned out to be all 12 months. (documents in collection of author.)

Mark is held in contempt in April of 1965 for making only one payment on his 6 months of alimony obligation. Many documents were filed over this divorce from 64-69. The record dept. gave me a duplicate copy of the pile of documents.

Peter Gowland

San Francisco Examiner Aug. 18. 1957

1963-1965 It was around this time I think, Paige meets and models for famous “glamour” or pin-up photographer Peter Gowland. She may have met Alice Gowland later, 67/68.

Richard Sample confirmed to me that Paige had known and modeled for Gowland already several years before her Playboy centerfold issue was released in November of 1968. See chapter on Richard Sample interview.

The Gowlands would produce Paige’s Playboy magazine centerfold published in November of 1968. 

By the 1960s, LA native Peter Gowland and his wife Alice, had already enjoyed a thriving photography business for over a decade.

In the 1950s:

They were one of a small number husband and wife pin-up photography teams in the Los Angeles area. The Gowlands were part of a larger group of male glamour photographers; many based in the LA area.

The “pin-up model” was transforming along with photography styles and equipment, lighting, and appeal as a hobby.

.Peter and Alice Gowland were at the forefront of the genre and the business.

Their specialty was selling these photos for use in different types of men’s magazines,  girlie calendars, mainstream commercial work and many photography instructional books.

Petaluma newspaper July 25, 1957

Peter himself was often featured in magazines for amateur photographers, he not only built his own outdoor sets by hand at his Rustic Canyon home, he invented a large format 4×5 camera he named the Gowlandflex. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Peter and Alice Gowland photographed many well-known glamour models such as the legendary model and nudist Diane Webber. Webber appears on the latest paperback edition of Gay Talese’s book: Thy Neighbor’s Wife, one of the first books I read about the hidden side of Hugh Hefner and Playboy. And the first place I learned about Diane Webber.

Warner Brother TV starlet Saundra Edwards is mentioned in the above article as a Gowland favorite model. Saundra was a Playmate for March 1957 and the photographed by the Gowlands. Saundra would go one to kill her husband, actor Tom Gilson, in self-defense when he drunkenly approached Saundra during a separation, demanding to see his son. This happened in Oct. of 1962 in Van Nuys. Below is one of many articles on the incident. Saundra was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Ogden Standard-Examiner Oct. 11, 1962

Popular cover girl and early Playboy Playmate Saundra Edwards.

Saundra Edwards already had two children by a previous marriage.

Other notable models who worked for the Gowlands were model and swimsuit designer Barbara Osterman, mid-century pop culture phenomenon  Vicki “The Back” Dougan, Julie Newmar (pre-Cat Woman) Tina Louise (pre-Gilligan’s Island) cult movie actress Edy Williams, starlets Yvette Mimeux and Venetia Stevenson. And many more.

Credit Michael for this information and history glamourphotographers.yolasite.comsite.com Please checkout his website for an in-depth discussion of the Gowlands and other photographers from the classic era of postwar glamour/pin-up photography and mass media.

The Gowlands produced dozens of photography instruction manuals from the 50s through the 80s at least. Some were magazine format and others were hardback books. 3 examples of magazine format below

1961 Meiling Gordon cover model

Interest in Figure or Artistic nude photography, grew in the 1950s culture as did photography as a hobby. This edition is from 1961. Cover model is Colleen Whitman.

Many of these instruction manuals pushed boundaries for nudity (topless) standards or simulation of nudity, (naked back turned toward the camera, almost see-through garments etc.) for the times.

1969 No credit for cover model

The Gowlands did publish photos with obvious frontal nudity in a small number of instructional books

Mainly though, it was swimsuit attire.

Peter Gowland is well-known (Alice less so) for contributing to the Playboy magazine Playmate feature in the 50s and 60s.

Most fans know Paige Young was the last of the Gowland’s Playmates with her feature in November of 1968.

Peter Gowland has has a type of fame, both then and now, but not one that is mass fame. He has more of a cult status now.

However, Gowland was more mainstream in the 50s and 60s when non-nude pin up models were used in a myriad of ways in mass media culture and had been throughout the 1950s.

Beauty contests and media coverage of them flourished in the 1950s and 60s.

Southern California was a hub for all kinds of beauty contests and displays of physicality; for example the Venice Beach “muscle” scene.