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Adams, Tom

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1926-2019) US-born illustrator, printmaker and designer, in UK from early childhood; along with Richard Chopping (1917-2008), he was deeply influential in the 1960s and 1970s for creating in commercial terms an indelibly memorable marriage of surrealism and trompe l'oeil techniques (including collage), an influence mostly visible in his long succession of covers for the novels of Agatha Christie, mostly in reprint form. His influence on sf Illustration was indirect, though clearly traceable. Much of his sf work was for reprint editions, American firms who used him including Ballantine Books (several for Robert Silverberg) and Bantam Books. Original work registered in this encyclopedia include covers for Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure (1968) and The Alteration (1976), Barry England's Figures in a Landscape (1968), John Fowles's The Magus (1965), John Hale's The Paradise Man: A Black and White Farce (1969).

Tom Adams should not be confused with the American illustrator Norman Adams, whose occasionally similar trompe l'oeil work was sometimes signed with his surname alone. [JC]

Thomas Charles Renwick Adams

born Providence, Rhode Island: 29 March 1926

died Launceston, Cornwall: 9 December 2019



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