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Remembering Bunny Yeager Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

27 May 2014

Bunny Yeager starred on both sides of the camera, revolutionizing the glamour photo business and influencing artists like Cindy Sherman, who studied her books on self-portraiture and photographing nudes.

A shy kid from a suburb of Pittsburg, she moved with her family to Miami when she was 17 determined to overcome her weakness. She took the name Bunny from a Lana Turner character, enrolled in modeling school and entered beauty pageants, winning more than 30 of them as she became one of the most photographed models in Miami.

'I want to show off how beautiful my subjects are, whether it's a cheetah or a live girl or two of them together. That's more important to me than anything.'

But she wasn't done yet. Not by a long shot.

She enrolled in photography school to save money on making copies of her portfolio by making her own prints. She sold her first homework assignment, a photo of model Maria Stinger posing with cheetahs.

Then she met Betty Page. She sewed a Santa's hat (and nothing else) for her shoot with Page -- and sold it to Playboy for $100.

Shooting with a Rolleiflex or a Speed Graphic, she won the confidence of other young women. "They all wanted to model for me because they knew that I wouldn't take advantage of them," she told the Associated Press in an interview last year.

"I want to show off how beautiful my subjects are, whether it's a cheetah or a live girl or two of them together. That's more important to me than anything."

She published several books, including 100 Girls, How to Photograph Nudes, How I Photograph Myself, Bunny Yeager's Flirts of the Fifties, Bunny Yeager's Bouffant Beauties and Bunny Yeager's Beautiful Backsides.

Meanwhile she raised two daughters, one of whom is deaf, who survive her along with four grandchildren. Arthur Irwin, her first husband, died in the 1970s and Harry Schaefer, her second husband, died in the late 1990s.

She succumbed to a chronic heart ailment on Sunday, surrounded by friends and family, including her daughters. She was 85.

And she still isn't done.

A new book titled Bettie Page: Queens of Curves, will be published by Rizzoli next month.

Yeager's current exhibit at the Gavlak Gallery will be shown at Art Basel later this year.

And two days before she went into the hospital earlier this month, she used a digital camera and her Rolleiflex for a shoot with 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year and Betty Page lookalike Claire Sinclair for a June exhibit in Las Vegas.

You just can't ever get enough Bunny Yeager.

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