Pin-up may also refer to drawings, paintings and other illustrations done in emulation of these photos (see the List of pinup artists). The term was first attested to in English in 1941; however the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s. The pin up images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcard or chromo-lithographs, and so on. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of pin-up girls were mass-produced.
Many pin ups were photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols. One of the most popular early pin-up girls was Betty Grable. Her poster was ubiquitous in the lockers of G.I.s during World War II. Other pin-ups were artwork, often depicting idealized versions of what some thought a particularly beautiful or attractive woman should look like. An early example of the latter type was the Gibson girl, drawn by Charles Dana Gibson. The genre also gave rise to several well-known artists specializing in the field, including Alberto Vargas and George Petty, and numerous lesser artists such as Art Frahm.
The term "cheesecake" is synonymous with pin-up photo. The earliest documented print usage of this sense of cheesecake is in 1934 , predating pin-up, although anecdotes say the phrase was in spoken slang some 20 years earlier, originally in the phrase (said of a pretty woman) "better than cheesecake." In the 1950s, for example, there was a magazine called Cheesecake that had a young Marilyn Monroe in a yellow bikini on its cover in 1953.
In professionally published fan magazines for films and television series, a posed photograph of actors or actresses from the subject matter, but might also showcase specific scenes from the subject matter in photograph form (called stills) are occasionally called pin-ups. The label is very casual, though, as these types of fan media are more accurately described as posters.