Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Robert A. Maguire was born on 3 August 1921, the son of a draftsman architect, and attended Duke University, although his education was interrupted by World War II. Released from service with the 88th Infantry, Maguire began studying under Frank Reilly at the Art Students League in New York where two of his contemporaries were Clark Hulings and James Bama, all three artists graduating in 1949.
Maguire usually used photo-reference for his covers, posing female models as femmes fatale, whilst often taking the male roles himself; a single trip to shoot three or four rolls of film provided him with enough reference for horses for several years. With no time to read the books, he relied on a brief from the publisher's art director, which usually involved little more than the girls' hair colour and how sensual they wanted the cover. Maguire would then produce five or six sketches, then a colour rough of the chosen image before painting the finished cover, usually in oils.
Robert Maguire was married twice, first to a model, whom he subsequently divorced; his second marriage, to Janice Maguire, lasted over twenty years. He died on 26 February 2005. A study of his work, Dames, Dolls and Gun Molls by Jim Silke, was published in 2009.
Examples of Robert Maguire's cover art can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.