Jack Coggins (1911-2006)

Jack Coggins (1911-2006). Oil on canvas measures an impressive 24 x 30 inches; 32 x 38 inches framed. Clean and excellent condition with no damage, restoration or overpaint. Signed lower right.



Jack Banham Coggins was born in London on 10th July 1911, the only son of Sidney George Coggins, the Riding Master of the First Regiment of Lifeguards.  When his father was retrenched, the family migrated to the United States in 1923.  After studying at the Grand Central School of Art and the Art Students League in New York, Jack devoted much of his time to marine painting both in oil and watercolour, and gained some work illustrating magazines.

During World War II, he served as a U.S. Army artist correspondent for Yank magazine in Europe and was with the U.S. ground forces during and after D Day.  Many of his war illustrations appeared in Life and Saturday Evening Post.  He also executed commissions for the Army and Navy, and illustrated many wartime commercial advertisements.

After the war in the 1950s, Jack executed covers for science-fiction magazines, most notably Galaxy and Fantasy & Science Fiction.  In 1951 and 1952, he collaborated with Fletcher Pratt on two classic books – Rockets, Jets Guided Missiles and Space Ships, and By Space Ship to the Moon (both published by Random House).  The books were released amidst a great wave of interest in space travel, which swept the country in the 1950s.  The two books made the prospect of space exploration seem a very practical possibility, and there are many space scientists today who retain fond memories of the influence these books had on their careers.

During the sixties Jack wrote and illustrated numerous books about the American Revolution, Navigation, Signalling, Vikings, Submarines, and many more marine, military and historical themes.  In 1966 he wrote and illustrated The Horseman’s Bible, which has sold at least half a million copies.  A revised edition was published in 1984.  He acknowledges his father’s 25 years in the cavalry and lifetime interest in horses for his equine knowledge.

Jack Coggins has produced well in excess of 500 oil and water colour paintings during his career – they are displayed in numerous galleries and owned by the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coastguard, and other institutions and companies.  His original manuscripts and illustrations are part of the University of Mississippi’s Permanent Collection of outstanding authors and artists.  He has been a member of the American Ordnance Association, the U.S. Naval Institute, and advisor to the board of the Philadelphia Maritime Museum.