MI6 looks back at the artwork by Barnett
Plotkin for the James Bond paperback novels published
by Jove in the early 1980's...
Barnett Plotkin's James Bond Covers
13th May 2009
In the early 1980's, American publisher Jove (now owned by Penguin)
issued new paperback editions of Ian
Fleming's James Bond adventures.
With the new publisher for the US
market also came new cover designs from illustrator Barnett
Born and raised in Valley Stream, New York, Barnett Plotkin
studied at Pratt Institute in New York City, graduating
in 1952 with a major in illustration and two years post-graduate
study in figure painting. He has worked in the field of
commercial illustration for the past 50 years; this has
included medical illustration.
Experimentation with varied media and
styles has often inspired some of his most eclectic and
without the constrictions associated with the commercial
field. Among his many other clients have been Wrangler
Jeans, Citibank, Prudential, IBM, Swingline, Hunts Foods,
US Steel, P. Lorillard, Medical Economics, The Franklin
Library, and Bantam, Fawcett., Harlequin and NAL paperbacks.
His James Bond covers were first released by Jove in February
1980, starting with "Goldfinger". Oddly, Jove published
the titles out of sequence and only released the first eight
Bond novels by Ian Fleming, ending their run a with "Moonraker" in July 1981.
Above: "For Your Eyes Only" artwork
Barnett Plotkin is a life member of the Society of Illustrators
and the 1984 past chairman of their internationally-acclaimed
Annual Show. His work was included in "The Art and Culture
of the American Labor Movement," which opened in 1983 in
the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin, and traveled throughout the
major capitals of Western Europe for several years. The artwork
was originally inspired for a division of Wrangler Jeans and
was most recently seen in a group show at the Smithtown Arts
Council, Smithtown, New York and at a retrospective at the Society
of Illustrators, New York City. It was described by the NY Times
as "the embodiment of power without the need for words." Newsday
wrote,"appealing in its very overtness." Many of his
portraits, landscapes, and drawings are in private collections.
Above: "Casino Royale"
and "Dr No" artwork
In 1997, Barnett Plotkin was honored by Nassau County, New York
along with William Baldwin and Susan Isaacs as their favorite
artists, actors and writers of the year. He has been a member
of the US Air Force Art Program since 1968, and his work has
been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators
in New York, The Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., The
Pentagon, Andrews Air Force Base, and Dayton Air Force Museum
at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In September 1999, The Society
of Illustrators elected him Chairman of Government Services,
with the Air Force Art Program being
the major contributor.
Above: Jove paperbacks from 1980
and 1981 using Plotkin's artwork
As part of the Ian
Fleming centenary in 2008, the Royal
Mail issued commemorative stamps featuring James Bond book
covers. Plotkin's artwork for the Jove editions were selected
as one of the four
designs used for the stamps covering "Dr
Are Forever", "For
Your Eyes Only" and "From
Russia With Love".
Above: "Goldfinger" artwork
Casino Royale - July 1980
Live And Let Die - June 1980
Moonraker - July 1981
Diamonds Are Forever - April 1980
From Russia With Love - March 1980
Dr. No - May 1980
Goldfinger - February 1980
For Your Eyes Only - June 1981
Limited Edition Giclee
Five of Plotkin's designs for James Bond paperback covers
are now available as limited edition 20"x30" unframed
giclee prints. Each print is limited to only 250 units
and comes complete with a certificate of authenticity and
a complementary set of stamps.
MI6 readers can save 10% off the regular price via the
special offer link.
Limited Edition Prints (Save 10%)