Robert K. Abbett

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Robert Kennedy Abbett (January 5, 1926 – June 20, 2015) was an American artist and illustrator.


Abbett was born in 1926 in Hammond, Indiana.

During the late-1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Robert Abbett, also credited as Bob Abbett, illustrated book covers for war novels, detective novels, thrillers, historical fiction and science fiction. Today, Abbett is best known for his paintings of wildlife (in particular, dogs), wilderness, sporting, and fishing.

His illustrations have been featured in a large number of books, magazines, and advertising. He has also authored or been featured in several art-related books, including A Season for Painting: The Outdoor Paintings of Robert K. Abbett  and  Wings from Cover: The Upland Images of Robert Abbett and Ed Gray.

Abbett is a graduate of both the University of Missouri and Purdue University. In 1953, Abbett moved to rural Connecticut where he built a house on an old farm (namely, Oakdale Farm[1]). There, Abbett was inspired by the untouched wilderness and forests, and began painting what he has become famous for today: animals and countrylife.

He died on June 20, 2015 at the age of 89 at his home in Bridgewater, Connecticut.[2]

Book covers illustrations[edit]

Robert K. Abbett was an illustrator for Ballantine Books,[3] Pyramid Books and Ace Books, as well as Gold Medal, Avon, Permabook, and Pocket Books. He illustrated Edgar Rice Burroughs' books,[4] including the Tarzan series,[5] Barsoom series,[6][7] and Pellucidar [8][9] series.



Barsoom (Mars)[edit]

Front cover of the 1963 Ballantine Books paperback edition of Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cover illustration by Robert Abbett.



  1. ^ Abbett illustrated books for Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs wrote a novel called The Oakdale Affair.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Dr. Michael S. Smith. "ACE SF K-Series Singles Image Library". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  4. ^ Robert R. Barrett. "To Bora-Bora and Back Again: The Story of Armstrong W. Sperry". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  5. ^ Nick Knowles. "ERB Paperback Collector U.S. First Editions". Retrieved 2008-03-08.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ FALCONER'S FANTASY BOOKS. "The Barsoom Series The John Carter Trilogy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  7. ^ Nick Knowles. "Mars Series: Ballantine Books Series 1 Cover art by Robert Abbett". Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  8. ^ Nick Knowles. "Pellucidar 4". Archived from the original on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  9. ^ von Horst. "Tarzan at the Earth's Core Publishing History". Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  10. ^ Barnard, Jeff (September 8, 1984). "With 97 Pen Names, Con Sellers Loses Taack of Stories He's Written". Schenectady Gazette. pp. Supplement Page 21. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  11. ^ "ERB CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  12. ^ "TARZAN AND "THE FOREIGN LEGION". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  13. ^ Burroughs Bibliophiles, Inc. "BURROUGHS BULLETIN Illustrated Bibliography IV: Issues 61 - 80". Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  14. ^ "TARZAN AND THE CASTAWAYS". Retrieved 2008-03-11.

External links[edit]