120 Years of Hubert Rogers

Dec 17, 2018 by

Hubert Rogers was born December 21, 1898. Best known as ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION‘s primary cover artist from 1939 to 1953, Rogers’ illustrations also graced the covers and interiors of ADVENTURE, ARGOSY, SHORT STORIES, DETECTIVE STORY,  THE WHISPERER, THE WIZARD, ACE-HIGH, WEST, ROMANCE, LOVE STORY, and SPORT STORY. Outside of the pulp world, Rogers worked in the art department of THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE and later served as art editor of THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Born to a respectable family on Prince Edward Island, his paternal grandfather was a successful shipbuilder who became Lieutenant Governor, Rogers trained at the Acadia Art Academy in Nova Scotia. As an art student of exceptional promise, he was introduced to the prestigious Group of Seven with A. Y. Jackson becoming his lifelong friend and mentor. After enlisting in the Canadian Army to fight in the First World War, Rogers settled in the United States where he continued his art studies in Boston and New York.

Having opened his own art studio in Brooklyn Heights, Rogers had a daughter and ex-wife to support while continuing his studies. He supplemented his income with newspaper work and by freelancing for pulp magazines. Rogers’ association with the pulps would limit his ability to find work with some of the higher-paying slicks and publishing houses.

During the Great Depression, Rogers relocated to New Mexico where he lived and worked among a thriving community of artists and bohemians for five years. The growing volume of pulp assignments brought him back to New York in 1936 where he settled in Greenwich Village and met and married his second wife. Moving back to Canada in 1942, Rogers was employed by the Wartime Information Board in Ottawa where he produced numerous wartime propaganda posters.

After the Second World War, Rogers moved his wife and their young son to Vermont where his second daughter would be born in 1947. Rogers stayed busy with pulp assignments through the early 1950s. Later in life, Rogers painted landscapes and commissioned portraits of U.S. and Canadian politicians and other prominent citizens. He died in Ottawa in 1982 at age 83.

Keep watching our website for more on the pulp greats. Then plan to attend next year’s PulpFest. We’ll be highlighting the many ways that pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. PulpFest 2019 will take place August 15 – 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(Among Hubert Rogers many exceptional cover illustrations are Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Magic Men” for the September 19, 1936 cover of ARGOSY; numerous covers of ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION illustrating E. E. Smith’s “Skylark” space operas or works by Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein; and this classic October 1937 cover of ADVENTURE illustrating Thomas McMorrow’s story, “Here’s Luck.”

Pulp historian, Windy City Pulp & Paper organizer, and PulpFest dealer Doug Ellis is currently working with Hubert Rogers’ daughter on a book about the artist and his work.)