Robert Peak, American (1927 - 1992)

Robert Peak

Considered "the father of the contemporary movie poster," Bob Peak totally transformed the approach to movie advertising from basic collages of film stills or head shots to flamboyant artistic illustrations. After his first poster for West Side Story in 1960, he went on to create more than 100 posters for such films as Camelot, My Fair Lady, Superman, Apocalypse Now, Excalibur and Star Trek III, just to name a few.

Although a large percentage of his work was for the film industry, Peak was not short on editorial assignments with 45 covers of Time Magazine featuring his illustrations -most notably the portrait of Mother Teresa.

Peak’s success was a result of being flexible. It kept him moving and won him eclectic assignments: in 1964 he hunted Ibex with the Shah of Iran for Sports Illustrated; he received the largest commission for an individual artist from the U.S. Postal Service, to design over 30 stamps and 31 watercolor paintings depicting various historical Olympic moments for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Peak was one of the most prolific and influential artists in his profession. Although he took pride in being a commercial illustrator he also found room for personal expression as a gallery fine art painter. His work has been featured in One Man Shows too numerous to mention and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Sports, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, among others.

The 40th Anniversary Issue of Communication Arts magazine included Bob Peak among the top 18 pioneers of the industry who made major contributions to visual communication over the previous four decades, helping to shape and define the field.

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