Between Art and Pornography: The Britain's Top Model of the 1960s, Pamela Green
A fine painter, a classical pianist, a ballet student, a photographer, and a trainer of models - such was the diversity of this pin-up-looking model from the men's magazines. Pamela Green (1929-2010), who posed for Zoltán and Stephen Glass, John Everard, and Joan Craven, most frequently appeared in the photography of the “King of the Camera” George Harrison Marks. By the way, much of his initial success Harrison Marks owed to Pamela's talent and perseverance.
Fig. 1. Portrait of young Pamela Green (facebook.com)
Fig. 2. A calendar portrait of Pamela by George Harrison Marks, the mid-1950s (pamela-green.com)
Fig. 3. Only Pearls (tumblr.com)
Fig. 4. In Spanish style (pamela-green.com)
Fig. 5. Left: Pandora’s Box by Joan Craven, the 1950s (pamela-green.com); right: Pandora’s Box by Joan Craven, the 1920s (ebay.com)
It all started more than a year ago when we stumbled across the nude photography of Joan Craven (1897-1979), namely, her Pandora's Box featuring Pamela Green. The collectors of Pamela Green's legacy consider this work among her best shots. Unfortunately, only ten nudes by Joan Craven can be found on the web, though she was known as a prolific photographer who concentrated on nude studies in the 50s and 60s when she shared a studio with Walter Bird. There is one more photograph by Craven on this topic, starring another model in monochrome. An earlier one, this shot stays true to the Greek myth about Pandora, as the insides of the box with illnesses and troubles look alarmingly dark. The expressive gesture, as if Pandora withdrew her hand, indicates the presence of something invisible to the viewer. In the colored photograph with Pamela, the unfortunate box is filled with jewelry.
Priceless Greek Statuary.
A print of the image by Bembrose Gravure Reproduction in Derby had a label stating the following: "Pandora in our picture has been aptly named, for it is evident that she has been endowed with many of the gifts of the gods. She has been fashioned in a goodly mold, and her classical beauty and firm curves remind one of a piece of priceless Greek statuary. We cannot believe, however, that site possesses any influence for evil, and her box contains things of beauty, not pests to plague the world" (pamela-green.com). Curiously, Pamela Green turned out to be the true Pandora, by which we mean a multi-gifted person whose attractive appearance and entrepreneurial spirit opened any doors. On the other hand, for prudish ones, she might be pure evil, releasing the demon of lust, like the wife of Prometheus' brother released human misfortunes.
Fig. 6. Pamela Green by Joan Craven from the article What the Photographer Saw, Liliput, September-October 1952 (staticflickr.com)
Fig. 7. Pamela Green by Joan Craven, monochrome and colorized versions (thekameraclub.com; tumblr.com)
Fig. 8. Photo by Joan Craven (pamela-green.com)
Fig. 9. Desiree, Study from original by Joan Craven (thekameraclub.com)
Fig. 10. Celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (pamela-green.com)
Fig. 11. The Birth of Venus by Angus McBean featuring Pamela as Venus and David Ball, Angus’s boyfriend as Zephyrus (pamela-green.com)
Of Model and Medal
Phyllis Pamela Green was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. In the interview with Peter Sykes for Men Only (May 1974, no. 5), the model mentioned her double origin (her mother was English and father was Dutch). She studied ballet and music at the Saint Martin's School of Art in central London and started figure modeling to pay for her studies. Pamela remembered that, as a kid, she dreamt of being a great artist, a ballerina, a concert pianist, a farmer, but never a model. Things changed when she occasionally stood in for one model in a regular fashion show and demonstrated a talent for posing. After this experience, she offered her service as a figure model to Douglas Webb, who was appalled to learn that the girl he photographed nude attended a school (he managed to get her father's consent afterwards). The WWII veteran, Douglas would become her third husband and, in 1989, would even sell his medal for the famous Dam Busters Raid to fund publishing a book of Pamela's nudes.
Fig. 12. Pamela Green as Rita Landre in Bosomy Beauties (pamela-green.com)
Fig. 13. Rita Landre (tumblr.com)
Fig. 14. Rita Landre, 1954 (pamela-green.com)
The deluxe Premium edition, which is almost twice as long, provides, among other things, Green's work as a dancer, encounter with the photographer George Harrison Marks, the various alter-egos she used in her roles as a model including Rita Landre, the controversy that arose after Green's role in the short film Window Dresser, her role in the full-length movie Naked as Nature Intended, and 56 additional images displaying her mesmerizing beauty.
Click HERE for an article on the beguiling star of 1970s sexploitation movies, Christina Lindberg
Sources: pamela-green.com; Wikipedia.org