Adventures in SF Cover Art: Collage and Mechanism: Anita Siegel’s Art for Doubleday Science Fiction

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(Cover for the 1975 edition of The Hellhound (1975), Ron Goulart)

Over the past year or so I’ve explored the artists behind Doubleday Science Fiction—from the early art of The Brothers Quay, who later became well-known directors of experimental short film, to an interview with artist Emanuel Schongut. I’ve included the links to other posts in the loose series below.

Anita Siegel (1939-2011) was a Brooklyn based artist best known for her “sardonic collages seamlessly combining pictures into biting satires” (from her obituary). Her work also featured in the New York Times Op-Ed page (especially during the Vietnam and Watergate periods). According to her obituary, her work was featured in galleries across the US and Europe and a range of print publications. Her 1970s SF covers are not mentioned…. I have managed to track down images an array of covers including a few uncredited ones identified on style. Also included are two untitled (and undated) art pieces.

A few SF fans might have encountered her covers on the 1st edition of M. John Harrison’s The Centauri Device (1974), Poul Anderson’s Tau Zero (1970), and Christopher Priest’s An Infinite Summer (1979).  However, I find those three pale in comparison to her gorgeous covers for the 1st edition of The Hellhound (1975) by Ron Goulart and the 1st edition of Final Solution (1973) by Richard E. Peck. Her almost post-human combinations of machine and man appeal immensely. In many ways the latter two covers epitomize my favorite art styles/ideas/themes: surrealism, collage, mechanism, pseudo-knowledge, diagrams, modified human form, an architectural touch…

She created at least four or five additional SF covers. However, I’ve been unable to find them in sufficiently high quality images.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome! Do you have a favorite?

Doubleday Cover Art Series

1) Interview with Emanuel Schongut and a Selection of his 1970s SF Covers

2) The 1960s Covers of Emanuel Schongut

3) The Brothers Quay and SF Covers

4) The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Donald Crews and Ann Jonas

For additional cover art posts consult the INDEX

peck-final

(Cover for the 1973 edition of Final Solution (1973), Richard E. Peck)

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(Cover for the 1970 edition of Five Fates (1970), uncredited editor)

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(Cover for the 1970 edition of Tau Zero (1970), Poul Anderson)

hcs6360-1

(Cover for the 1971 edition of Once There Was a Giant (1971), Keith Laumer)

152830

(Cover for the 1977 Charles Scribner’s Sons edition of Strangeness: A Collection of Curious Tales (1977), ed. Thomas M. Disch and Charles Naylor)

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(Cover for the 1979 edition of An Infinite Summer (1979), Christopher Priest)

thcntrdvcx1974

(Cover for the 1974 edition of The Centauri Device (1974), M. John Harrison)

Other pieces of art by Anita Siegel

anita-siegel

(Anita Siegel, title + date unknown)

anita-siegel-2

(Anita Siegel, title + date unknown)

5 thoughts on “Adventures in SF Cover Art: Collage and Mechanism: Anita Siegel’s Art for Doubleday Science Fiction”

  1. I might be stating the obvious,but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like these,that are so technical and academic.She was obviously very serious in her outlook.

    The Harrison and Laumer ones are my favourites.They have a more light-hearted flourish about them.

    1. I enjoy how she integrates collage with some fine pencil work. But yes, the two favorites I indicated in my post really do speak to my larger art interests. It’s hard not to be fascinated by diagrams that hint at some oblique meaning, and strange faces wreathed with unusual devices…

      1. They are different to what I’m accustomed to,not that I haven’t liked artists who are different that you’ve featured in previous posts,but I don’t think I’ve seen any who are so serious in intent or design.I’m pleased though really,as I prefer her stuff to many cover artists,whose work doesn’t convey the inner content of what modern science fiction is about,but she does.

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