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Alan E. Cober

The family and friends of Alan E. Cober created an endowed fund in order to honor his memory and his body of work, and to advance graphic illustration.

Cober (1935-1998), one of America’s foremost illustrators, was a visiting artist in the UB Art Department from 1986–1996. Among his illustration clients were Time, the New York Times, NBC, CBS, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Ladies Home Journal, IBM, Life, and Look. Alan was a NASA artist and he documented the early speace flights at the Kennedy Space Center. In 1982, the Smithsonian Institute commissioned him to create a mural in celebration of George Washington’s 250th birthday. In 1987, Alan traveled on the press plane for Rolling Stone to cover Pope John’s visit to the United States.

Cober’s tenure at UB had great influence on the students who came through the program, noted Kathleen Howell, a founder of UB’s illustration program. He was a dedicated and influential teacher, giving young artists guidance in both aesthetic and professional realms.

He won many awards, and was engaged nationally. In addition to illustration, his mediums included painting, printmaking and clay and ceramic sculpture. His 1975 book, “The Forgotten Society” documented his reaction to conditions for the mentally handicapped, prisoners and the aged in New York state and was featured in People magazine. After his death, he was inducted into the New York Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2011.

He was an alumnus of the University of Vermont and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Pictured: Alan E. Cober

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