Bob posing for some of his covers from the 50's to the 80's.
August 3, 1921 -
February 26, 2005
Welcome to the website of Robert A. Maguire, renowned and respected illustrator/artist, whose half-century-plus contribution to cover art stands with the titans of the industry. 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.
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 Jimmy Bama, graduates all of the class of '49. Mr. Maguire is a Member Emeritus of The Society of Illustrators.
Bob 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. These images compel one to wonder what led up to that instant in time and where it will lead next, the very stuff of timeless art.
Robert Maguire continued evolving and producing fine art as well as many memorable illustrations. His contributions to the golden age of noir art are legion. That period, fraught with reaction and change, produced extremes. Life in the 50s was set against a backdrop of Joe McCarthy, Ezekiel Gathing and their ilk, ranting of fear and hatred, while this country was experiencing a social revolution that reverberates to this day. R. A. Maguire's work is a window on the birth of that revolution.
Many thanks to Jack Mc Vey for his many hours at the computer in the service of this project.