Richard M. Powers (1921-1996) brought fine art influences from abstraction and surrealism into SF illustration, where he was one of the dominant forces from the 1950s to the 1980s. He produced an estimated 1400 covers in almost all commercial genres, the vast bulk of them in science fiction. He was born in Chicago, and studied art at the Mizen Academy, the Chicago Art Institute, and the University of Illinois at Chicago before enlisting in the Army during World War II, which he spent at the Signal Corps Studios in New York. His first major art commission was a spectacular edition of Gulliver’s Travels in 1948, and he exhibited his fine art in yearly shows at the Rehn Gallery in New York. A close friend of Ian and Betty Ballantine, his surrealistic science fiction covers became the house style for Ballantine Books, and he did more covers for Ballantine than any other publisher, although he worked for all of them, as well as for the major slick magazines. He moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1954, where he stayed, for the most part, for the rest of his life. He died in Spain while visiting his daughter, at the age of 75.
For some years before his death, and since 1996, Worlds of Wonder has represented the estate in the licensing of Powers' original F/SF and occasionally other genre, illustrative art. If you are interested in gaining usage rights from the estate for Richard Powers' images, for commercial or non-commercial use, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I regret, but I no longer have any of his SF/F original art in inventory.
[note: my thanks to Richard G. Powers, for creating the short bio of his father, above]
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