Alan Magee was born in 1947 in Newtown, Pennsylvania, attended art school in Philadelphia and, in 1968, began working as an editorial and book illustrator in New York. Among his regular clients were Time Magazine, The Atlantic, Playboy, New York Magazine, The New York Times, McCall’s, and Avon, Ballantine, and Simon and Schuster Books. His illustrations received numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts magazine, and the Art Directors’ Clubs of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Magee’s illustrations were honored with Playboy’s Annual Editorial Award in 1977, and an American Book Award in 1982.
Alan Magee has received awards for his painting from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Several television documentaries have been made about his work including the Maine PBS production, Alan Magee, Visions of Darkness and Light, and Maine Masters: Alan Magee. Magee has been interviewed on Voice of America Radio, Monitor Radio in NY, WHYY in Philadelphia, Pacifica Radio in San Francisco, and on WERU in Maine.
Forum Gallery has represented Alan Magee since 2001. The artist was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition in 2003–04, organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME, and presented by the James A. Michener Art Museum, Bucks County, PA, The Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX and The Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA. The accompanying book, a Forum Gallery publication, has sold more than 3,000 copies. A one-person exhibition: Alan Magee: From the Underground River, was presented by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in 2006. His work has recently been included in exhibitions at the American Academy of Arts & Letters in New York, the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, CT, the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA and at galleries throughout the world.
Magee’s works can be seen in many public collections including The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME, Arkansas Art Center, the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, Huntington Museum of Art in WV, Newark Art Museum, and the Columbus Museum of Art, OH. His work has been included in the collections of Mobil Oil, The Atlantic Richfield Co., Lucasfilm Inc., Cargill Corporation, Continental Grain, the Bank of Japan, the Union Trust Bank, The Janss Collection, and in the private collections of Billy Wilder, Henry Fonda, Chermayeff & Geissmar, Arnold Newman, Johnny Carson, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Nicholas Cage, Morley Safer, Burton and Deedee McMurtry, and the Richard and Jalane Davidson Collection of American Realist Drawings, among others.