The short career of Richard Amsel (1947 – 1985) has become one of the most influential of all time. His celebrity portraits from the 1970s and 1980s adorned the covers of TV Guide for thirteen years. Amsel landed his first major client with 20th Century Fox shortly after graduating from Philadelphia College of Arts. His poster of Barbra Streisand for Hello, Dolly! earned him immediate recognition, and he went on to create the album art for Bette Midler’s Divine Miss M. But it was his movie poster commissions that are perhaps his most iconic. With such titles as Chinatown, The Muppet Movie, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shootist, The Sting, The Dark Crystal, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash Gordon, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, among others, Amsel’s work became widely recognizable and applauded by the illustration, film and television community as well as the general public. In 1985, Amsel passed away at the young age of 37 due to complications from AIDS. He is the recipient of multiple awards both posthumously and while he lived, including several medals from the Society of Illustrators.
Robert Redford as aviator Waldo Pepper
Argosy magazine cover, August, 1974
Colored pencil and acrylic on Illustration board
Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators Permanent Collection