1970s Robert (Bob) Manley Artist Proof
Proof measures 11 x 13 inches and is printed on heavy paper. The print includes an embossed edge around illustration. I believe the print is from the 1960s though it is undated.
I'm not sure of the print's origins though It was created by my father, Robert (Bob) Manley (1942 - 1994). He began collecting comic books as a child in the 1950s and some of his earliest drawings were of comic book covers. As an adult artist he often incorporated comics in his illustrations, often with obscene references.
Manley grew up on Dixon Street, just off of Elmwood Avenue in Providence Rhode Island. He often fondly recalled his adventures at Roger Williams Park with his two brothers, Barry and Richard Manley.
Manley met his first wife, (my mother) Mary Bryan at Cornerstone Church while still in High School. The two were married in 1962 and produced two children, myself (Don) in 1963 and a year later my brother Robert-Todd (Bob) in 1964.
Upon graduating High School, Manley attended the University of RI briefly before transferring to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to study illustration. One of his professors at RISD was Malcom Grear, a well known graphic designer and educator. Manley completed several freelance projects for "Malcom Grear Designers" (MGD) after graduation.
Manley went on to receive a Masters Degree in Painting from Syracuse University in upstate New York and accepted a teaching job at Murry State University in Kentucky shortly thereafter.
In the early 1970s he returned to Rhode Island and began a career in advertising at the former "Creamer Trowbridge Case & Basford were he met his future business partners Jack Lafond and Dan Altman.
In late 1970s Manley left Creamer to co-found his first agency; Lafond & Manley in Providence Rhode Island. Manley later returned to Teaching at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
The 1970s were tumultuous years for our family. My parent's, Bob and Mary, were separated and eventually divorced. During this time my father also experience his first bout with cancer. Manley met his second wife; Marian Federspiel at the University of Connecticut. She was a student at the time and the two were married in 1979.
In 1981 Manley partnered with Dan Altman, a copywriter and former Creamer employee to form Altman & Manley in Boston, MA. Originally established to produce corporate presentations, the company later evolved into a full-service advertising agency.
Altman & Manley prospered for six years and won many local and national advertising awards including a CLIO for a healthcare commercial in San Fransisco. Their client roster included Tristar Skis, Avatar, Fanny Farmer, FAO Schwarz and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. Manley himself received a couple of honorary doctorates and multiple National Advertising & Illustration Awards. Before it's demise in 1997 Altman & Manley opened a second office in San Fransisco. The San Fransisco branch of Altman & Manley was managed by Richard Manley, Bob's brother and Dan Altman.
Below is an excerpt from an article that appeared in AdWeek upon Manley's death. The article was written by Judy Warner.
His friends say that Bob Manley would have hated this. A humble, self -effacing sort, Manley valued his privacy. he didn't seek the spotlight but throughout his more than 20 years as an art director, teacher and designer, it often found him. Manley and his copywriting partner, Dan Altman, formed Altman & Manley in Boston in 1981. It's peak came about five years later when it was billing around $30 million, and doing far out work for such clients as Fanny Farmer, Ben & Jerry's, FAO Schwarz and Placewares.
Colleagues remembered Manley, who died of cancer at this New Hampshire home last week, as being out of step with the times and out of sync with an industry that he never took all that seriously. Indeed Manley told ADWEEK during an interview in 1987, "When I first started in the business, it seemed to be confined by a lot of rules and limitations that were, for the most part, self-imposed. I decided that making it interesting would require constantly discovering new points of view."
A&M was a creatively driven shop, a reflection of Manley who always played by his own rules. he was an avid collector of antique children's toys and advertising memorabilia dating to the turn of the century. For inspiration, solace or points of view, he turned not to the writings of Jay Chiat or Bill Bernbach, but to antique books.
Manley eventually went on to establish a small independent design collaborative, which he ran out of his home in Goffstown, New Hampshire. When Manley learned that he had terminal cancer, he and his wife were in the process of building a home on Lake Winnipesaukee in Merideth New Hampshire. Construction was completed shortly before his death and Manley died at his new home in Meredith.
Below is a photo of Bob Manley from the late 1970s.
Condition: The print is in good condition with some discoloration though not as dramatic as it appears in pics.
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