The Sweet Sixties In The Posters Of American Artist Robert McGinnis
27 december 2022 
23 min. read

The Sweet Sixties In The Posters Of American Artist Robert McGinnis

In the current article, we'll examine the art of Stanley Borack's (check out our articles on his covers!) contemporary Robert McGinnis (b. 1926). This long-liver produced many iconic images of the 1960s, from posters for Breakfast at Tiffany's (Fig.1) to the covers of James Bond novels. Allegedly, McGinnis' perfectionism is outstanding: being commissioned to draw the poster for Arabesque (1966), he requested the tiger dress of Sophia Loren to get the right appearance (see Fig.82 in Premium). All in all, the artist is known to be the author of more than 1200 paperback book covers and over forty movie posters.

 Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster by McGinnis

Fig. 1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster by McGinnis (robertmcginnis.com)

 McGinnis’ art for How to Steal a Million movie poster

Fig. 2. McGinnis’ art for How to Steal a Million movie poster (blog.naver.com)

 mcginnis You Only Live Twice, James Bond movie, 1967

Fig. 3. You Only Live Twice, James Bond movie, 1967 (blog.naver.com)

 mcginnis McGinnis’ art for Arabesque, 1966

Fig. 4. McGinnis’ art for Arabesque, 1966 (blog.naver.com)

 McGinnis’ art for Sinful Davey, 1969

Fig. 5. McGinnis’ art for Sinful Davey, 1969 (blog.naver.com)

Beer advertisement by McGinnis

Fig. 6. Beer advertisement by McGinnis (blogspot.com)

 McGinnis’ art for a paperback novel

Fig. 7. McGinnis’ art for a paperback novel (blog.naver.com)

Robert Edward McGinnis was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in Wyoming, Ohio. His dad, known as "Dutch," encouraged McGinnis' artistic inclination by helping him to draw his favorite cartoon character Popeye The Sailor. Getting older, adolescent McGinnis went cold on his childhood activity and became keen on football. That time, it was his mother Mildred who insisted on his artistic career and made him attend a drawing class at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Saturdays. Graduated from high school, McGinnis relocated to California and apprenticed at Walt Disney Studios, where, instead of beloved Popeye, he drew Mickey Mouse and learned about cartoon animation. After the break of WW2, the artist studied fine art at Ohio State University and took night classes at the Central Academy of Commercial Art. The Wikipedia entry states that McGinnis also served in the Merchant Marine shortly before the end of the war.

 McGinnis’ cover for So Speaks The Heart novel

Fig. 8. McGinnis’ cover for So Speaks The Heart novel by Johanna Lindsey (blog.naver.com). The funny detail of the arts for this author, which points to the target audience, is the nudity of male figures.

 McGinnis’ cover for Brave the Wild Wind

Fig. 9. McGinnis’ cover for Brave the Wild Wind novel by Johanna Lindsey (blog.naver.com).

 McGinnis’ cover for Tender Is The Storm novel

Fig. 10. McGinnis’ cover for Tender Is The Storm novel by Johanna Lindsey (blog.naver.com).

 McGinnis’ cover for Fires of Winter novel

Fig. 11. McGinnis’ cover for Fires of Winter novel by Johanna Lindsey (blog.naver.com).

 McGinnis’ cover for Paradise Wild novel by Johanna Lindsey

Fig. 12. McGinnis’ cover for Paradise Wild novel by Johanna Lindsey (blog.naver.com).

 McGinnis’ cover for the novel from ‘Carter Brown

Fig. 13. McGinnis’ cover for the novel from ‘Carter Brown’ series (blog.naver.com).

 McGinnis’ cover for The Man Inside by M. E. Chaber

Fig. 14. McGinnis’ cover for The Man Inside by M. E. Chaber (blog.naver.com).

In the fifties, he moved to New York with his wife Ferne and started working in advertising. Since 1958, the artist was contributing to Dell Publishing and produced covers for the novels of Richard Stark, Johanna Lindsey, and other authors. His artworks appeared in magazines like Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Home Companion, Good Housekeeping, TIME, Argosy, Guideposts, and The Saturday Evening Post. In 1985, he was awarded the title of "Romantic Artist of the Year" by Romantic Times magazine for his productivity in creating romance novel covers. In 1993, McGinnis was inducted into the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame. His art and personality are the subject of the documentary Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer by Paul Jilbert.

 robert mcginnis illustrator

Fig. 15. blog.naver.com

 McGinnis, James Bond Thunderball, 1965

Fig. 16. McGinnis, James Bond Thunderball, 1965 (blog.naver.com)

 robert mcginnis art

Fig. 17. blogspot.com

 robert mcginnis erotic

Fig. 18. blog.naver.com

mcginnis Art for Bondiana

Fig. 19. Art for Bondiana (blog.naver.com) mcginnis Thunderball Fig. 20. Art for Bondiana (blog.naver.com)

 robert mcginnis Seated nude

Fig. 21. Seated nude (blog.naver.com)

robert mcginnis Reclining nude

Fig. 22. Reclining nude (blog.naver.com)

mcginnis Lying nude

Fig. 23. Lying nude (blog.naver.com)

robert mcginnis Standing nude view from behind

Fig. 24. Standing nude view from behind (blog.naver.com)

 robert mcginnis Chrysalis

Fig. 25. Chrysalis (blog.naver.com)

 robert mcginnis Legs

Fig. 26. Legs (blog.naver.com) robert mcginnis Nude By a Bench

Fig. 27. Nude By a Bench (blog.naver.com). The bench is decorated with wonderful fauns.

  robert mcginnis Nude on a Chair

Fig. 28. Nude on a Chair (blog.naver.com)

 robert mcginnis  Seated nude with legs stretched

Fig. 29. Seated nude with legs stretched (blog.naver.com)

In the extended version of this article in Premium you can discover more about McGinnis's later work, the secrets of his ideal woman, the differences between Borack and McGinnis's pin-up girls, and numerous exciting examples.

Click HERE for the fairy tale pin-up girls In the art of Ren Wicks

You can find more about McGinnis recent activities on his Facebook page or the official site.

Sources: Wikipedia.org; cavaliergalleries.com; blog.naver.com/kmozzart; robertmcginnis.com

What do you think about McGinnis's pin-up aesthetics? Leave your reaction in the comment box below...!!

About the author
Darya is a philologist who lives and works in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She is specialized in Russian literature.
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