During the second half of the 1960s, the rock band the Who made plenty of great records about bizarre, offbeat themes. One of them was "Pictures Of Lily," the story of a troubled adolescent boy who receives a gift from his father: erotic pictures of a woman named Lily, pictures the boy says "helped me sleep at night." (Yes, it's an ode to the word that was not named in the famous "Seinfeld" episode "The Contest.") Anyway, the boy falls in love with Lily -- only to learn from dad that "she's been dead since 1929." The boy is frustrated; "If only I'd been born in Lily's time/It would have been all right." You can hear the song above, a version done for the BBC in the late sixties.
In 1930, a year after the fictional Lily passed away, many males got a chance to explore their fantasies under the guise of art. (Heck, some of them may actually have been interested in art, as well as the other stuff.) It was a magazine titled Screen Art Studies No. 4, and for 35 cents, you got 34 pages of women in assorted levels of undress. Artistic nudity, mind you, but nudity just the same, which is why I'm placing the cover (and a few of the others) under a cut:
Carole Lombard wasn't in any of the stuff under the cut, but she is in a photo, taken by the renowned Edwin Bower Hesser, where if you look hard enough, you might just be able to make our her nipples beneath the flimsy lingerie she's wearing:
In the photo, it states Lombard "has become one of Pathe's foremost artists." Well, not by the time this magazine came out, sold at art supply stores and on newsstands (where it presumably wasn't displayed). Pathe had dismissed her, probably for the crime of looking too much like Constance Bennett, and she was briefly without a studio.
Here's a closer look at Carol (then with no "e"); see if you notice her nipple:
If the nipple is there, it's very subtle. It doesn't matter one way or the other -- it's a rather sexy photo, and I'm sure some males got a certain reaction out of seeing her that way. (We'll leave it at that.)
This magazine, showing several other young stars (including Josephine Dunn, Lombard's castmate in "Safety In Numbers" later that year) in sensual photos (the nudes hidden under the cut are not identified, and may not be actresses), is being auctioned at eBay...and despite a starting bid level of only $4.99, no one has made a bid on it as of this writing; bidding closes at just after 11:05 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday. If you're interested in the artistic nude form, or simply want to give something to lift the libido of a teenage son, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-Vtg-1930-SCREEN-Art-STUDIES-4-Nude-CAROLE-Lombard_W0QQitemZ140352555412QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAntiquarian_Collectible?hash=item20adaa0994. (Hey, if it takes these kind of photos to secure a new generation of Lombard fans, so be it.)