Start zonder finish, by Helmert R. MillerDe witte hel by Helmert Miller

Helmert R. Miller, also known as R.M. Helmert, was an artist of pin-ups, that were published in many of Holland's more saucy magazines of the 1940s and 1950s. Miller was the pen name of Helmert Mulder, under his own name a watercolor painter of landscapes and flowers, designer for the graphic industry and illustrator of children's books. Born in Utrecht in 1923, the artist and his family moved to Haarlem before the second World War.

Mulder had his first job as a retoucher with the printing firm Joh. Enschedé & Zonen between 1938 and 1943. He attended Piet Nieuwkoop's drawing school during the war, was arrested and sent to Germany in 1944. He used his graphic skills to falsify official documents, but was caught and sentenced to death. He was liberated by the Americans in May 1945 however, and spent the following years recovering from the hardships of the war. It was during this period that he developed his skills in drawing pin-ups, inspired by the work of American artists like George Petty.

Pin-up by Helmert Miller
Centerfold for Pin-Up 28 (1950)

Miller started publishing his pin-ups in 1948, and was one of the regular contributors of cartoons, centrefolds and comics like 'Cheques Appeal' to Pin-Up Magazine between then and 1950. He also made naughty drawings and occasional comic strips for Studio Mondial, Le Chat Noir, Glamour Magazine, Studio de Paris, New Look and Cocktail. Another regular artist for several of these, often short-lived, publications was Henk Albers.

Mulder also tried his hand at comic strips, or "visual stories" as they were called at the time. For the Haarlem-based publisher Jago (J.A.G. Olie) he drew the pocket comic 'De Witte Hel' in 1950, and he made two comic books under the title 'Start zonder Finish' for ATH in Rotterdam in 1952. He additionally provided illustrations to the pulp publications of BHS. He moved over to advertising when the market for saucy magazines dried out.

He drew advertisements for the locks of Lips, Philips Duphar, Van Dungens rum bonbons, as well as a comic story about the taffies of Gilda. He was furthermore affiliated to the printing firm Koningsveld and the Nederlandse Rotogravure Maatschappij in Leiden, and he drew coloring and pop-up books for Keesmaat in Haarlem. He also made illustrations for the Dutch photography magazine Focus. He spent the final years of his career with the ad department of Beecham Pharma in Amstelveen.

After his retirement, he settled in Hellevoetsluis, where he specialized in watercolor painting. He passed away in 1994.

Glamour cover by Helmert MillerPin-up cover by Helmert Miller

Series and books by Helmert R. Miller in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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