Monday, January 08, 2007

James R. Bingham (1917-1971)

I love the work of James R. Bingham.

Sometimes I feel badly that - while Today's Inspiration has been around for about five years now - there are so many worthy illustrators I haven't even showcased once. Meanwhile, I've highlighted Bingham's work several times already.

There's something about Bingham's approach that just really grabs me. While firmly rooted in the classic "realistic" approach to illustration, Bingham managed to put his own unique, appealing stylistic stamp on everything he did.

And though he did not adopt the "new direction" to illustration that evolved during the early 60's, he did experiment with a variety of mediums and techniques that presented the viewer with fresh and sometimes startling approaches to similar subject matter. I get the sense that, within his comfort zone, Bingham liked to keep things interesting for himself.

So this week, let's take a look at one of my favourite illustrators of the 50's, James R. Bingham.

These images have been added to my James R. Bingham Flickr set.


  1. Very nice work (on the Flickr site too): James R. Bingham's style is still influencing illustration today! Thanks!

  2. WOW!

    I've only seen a sampling of his work up until today. He's got a new fan!! Just wonderful! That header illustration is magnificent!!!

  3. Thanks for your comments, guys... I know you'll be blown away by the rest of this week's pieces! :-)

  4. Just found your blog today---WOW!!!

    What a treasure trove! I've signed up for the email list and started perusing your flicker sets and archives on your website.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  5. Well, gee, prof. estevez - how very glad I am that you found your way to our humble blog - welcome! :-)

  6. Yeah , that top piece kicks.

  7. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Great stuff!

    BTW, I work a few blocks away from the building that probably provided the inspiration for the top illustration (the Malloch apartment building, as used in the Bogart/Bacall film "Dark Passage").

  8. Well how cool is that? I'd love to be able to go stand on the spot where Bingham shot his reference for this piece. Thanks for commenting, anonymous! :-)

  9. Mark Harris9:16 AM

    I think I know why you like this work so much Leif.
    Really simple composition and tones - almost like a comic book. Wish I could be more like that. Just can't leave stuff alone...

  10. I think you're absolutely right, Mark - and even more so with Bingham because his work often reminds me of one of my favourite 60's comic artists: Jim Steranko.

  11. Anonymous7:26 PM

    James Russell Bingham was my grandfather and up until today I thought that his artwork has been all but forgotten. I have seen some of his artwork through my mother and his personal art that we still hold today but I have not seen many of the pieces he had done for the Saturday Evening Post. If you come across any of his artwork or articles about my grandfather if you would please contact me at Thank you for your time.

    James Russell Dicks

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  13. I love that my grandfather's work is still alive and such a source for inspiration today. I have many of his prints and eventually we will find a way to showcase his work.

    James R. Bingham III
    West Palm Beach

  14. I have a few prints/ paintings from JR Bingham, I hope they are part of his collection. I just cannopt find any similar prints. if you would like to see the jpegs email me at

  15. learning from the old masters :D