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Barr, George

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist, Fan.

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(1937-    ) US illustrator, one of the most meticulous of sf/fantasy artists, although for many years his prominence as an artist for Fanzines tended to overshadow his professional work; early illustration venues included George Scithers' Amra, Tom Reamy's Trumpet and the fanzine incarnation of Locus. He received little by way of formal art training, although he was lucky enough to be mentored by two notable artists: Mary Kimball Johnson (1906-1994) and Harold "Jack" Vigos (1914-1983). Barr was nominated five times for the Hugo as Best Fan Artist, winning in 1968 and 1969. However, he had by then already sold his first professional illustration to Fantastic, the cover for March 1961. He has been a very prolific creator of interior illustrations for magazines, using ball-point pen as his medium. His paperback covers for Ace Books, DAW Books and others are also well known. His often delicate, sometimes whimsical, colour artwork, influenced by his appreciation of the work of Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) and Hannes Bok, involves laying watercolour washes over ball-point lines. In a field that for a long time emphasized brightness, his pastel shades were almost unique – almost, but not quite, because of course Richard Powers and others often used similarly muted palettes for their cover Illustrations. More recently Barr has done many interior illustrations for Asimov's Science Fiction, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine (see Marion Zimmer Bradley) and especially Weird Tales. He has also produced record covers, artwork for Dungeons & Dragons, limericks, and a scattering of short fiction. A showcase of his artwork is Upon the Winds of Yesterday, and Other Explorations (graph 1976). Barr has not been professionally active since 2006, although he contributed several items of interior art to the 2016 Worldcon souvenir book. [JG/PN/JGr/DRL]

George Edward Barr

born Tucson, Arizona: 13 January 1937



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