elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Behind the Cover: Robert Maguire

Robert A. Maguire (August 3, 1921 - February 26, 2005), or R. A. Maguire, was a twentieth century American illustrator and fine artist. Known primarily for his crime noir paperback cover art, he has produced artwork for over 600 covers since 1950. Maguire is a Member Emeritus of The Society of Illustrators.

Robert Maguire began his education at Duke University, but like so many others of his generation, left for service in World War II. Upon his return, his interest in art led him to the Art Students League, where his instructor was the famed Frank Reilly. Two of Maguire's more noteworthy fellows included Clark Hulings and James Bama, graduates all of the class of '49.

Cover Art for I Prefer Girls

Cover Art for Nikki

Maguire's career took off immediately with his first work for Trojan Publications: cover art for their line of small pocket pulps, with titles like Hollywood Detective Magazine (Oct. 1950). Maguire did three of the eight covers for this pocket pulp series. From then on, his career blossomed.

His classic period of the 50s and 60s grew out of his skilled female images, some of the best and most memorable of the period. Maguire's mastery of the "femme fatale" created a vintage paperback icon: his women are passionate yet somehow down to earth, approachable, though sometimes at your own risk.

Robert Maguire continued evolving and producing fine art as well as many memorable illustrations.

Maguire's over 600 covers for such publishers as Pocket, Dell, Ace, Harper, Avon, Silhouette, Ballantine, Pyramid, Bantam, Lion, Berkeley, Beacon and Monarch - virtually every mainstream publishing house in New York - makes his original cover art a tour de force in the last half of the twentieth century.

One of his most famous book covers is 'Black Opium', which is considered by many crime noir paperback collectors to be the definitive crime noir paperback cover of the genre. He also designed art covers for video games and for music cds.


Dames, Dolls, And Gun Molls, The Art of Robert A. Maguire
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse (November 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595822720
ISBN-13: 978-1595822727
Amazon: Dames, Dolls, And Gun Molls

Cover Art for A Night for Screaming

Cover Art for Black Opium

Cover Art for Death Watch

Cover Art for Hell's Angels

Cover Art for House of Fury

Cover Art for Kiss for a Killer

Cover Art for Negative for a Nude

Cover art for Prelude to Murder

Cover Art for Stone Cold Blonde

Cover Art for The Brass Bed

Cover Art for The Joy Zone

Cover Art for The Killing

Cover Art for Tomboy

Cover art for Tormented Women

Cover art for Wild to Possess

Tags: behind the cover

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