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Jacqui Morgan Edit Profile

illustrator , painter , writer , art educator

Jacqui Morgan, painter, art educator, illustrator, writer. Recipient more than 200 awards from various organizations including Society Illustrators, Federal Design Council, Communications Arts Magazine, American Institute Graphic Arts, New York Art Directors Club, Print Design Annual. Member of Graphic Artists Guild (director 1975-1979), Society Illustrators, Women Artists of the West, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.


Morgan, Jacqui was born on February 22, 1939 in New York City. Daughter of Henry and Emily (Cook) Morganstern.


She studied at Pratt Institute, graduating with a BFA, and Hunter College, City University of New York, where she earned an MA degree.


She became influential during the 1960s and 1970s with the youthful and psychedelic style of her illustrations. She was one of the first female commercial illustrator/designers in the United States. Her 1967 poster for the New York City club Electric Circus is considered a milestone of 20th century graphic design.

Morgan originally worked in textile design. She travelled to Europe, and returned to the United States after a year. She began working as a free-lance illustrator in New York City in 1963.

In 1967, Morgan produced a poster for the New York City nightclub Electric Circus, which was part of the counter-culture scene in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan. Electric Circus was frequented by Andy Warhol, The Velvet Underground, and was the home of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Morgan, working in concentrated watercolor, ink, and coloured pencil, had developed a style she would describe as "anthropomorphic double-images".

She produced a poster for Electric Circus that became influential in the graphic design world, and Morgan became in high demand as an illustrator. Following the poster for Electric Circus, Morgan worked on commissions for clients as diverse as financial services firms and the United Nations. She created illustrations for newspaper and magazine advertising, posters, calendars, magazine covers, record album covers, books, book covers, and billboards.

Morgan created the iconic poster for Year of the Woman 1971. Other iconic posters include the 1973 poster for the American Optometric Association, Purina, The Joy of Seeing which was copied on several occasions for clothing and a book cover. Billboards include Celanese, Thai Air, 7up, Swedish Tanning Secret, Exxon, and Ritz Disco.

Calendars include those done for Nissan, has also done several Broadway show posters including Wine Spectator and Wines of Spain. Morgan became a prominent female illustrator/designer at a time when they were a rarity. For several years she was one of only three full-time female illustrators in the United States, along with Barbara Nessim and Lorraine Fox.

In recent decades, she has produced a number of works in an exaggerated hyper realism using color to push volume and depth with her focus on figurative works done from life. With a partner, she launched a line of clothing, including T-shirts, jackets, and dresses incorporating silk-screen and airbrush designs under the name "Mag Jac". Morgan taught at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.Her watercolor classes draw students from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages.Her current personal work is painting the nude from life.

Morgan also worked as a watercolour artist. In 1986, she published the book Watercolour for Illustration. She has also published Jacqui Morgan's Journey (2007).

MOSTLY NUDE: Watercolors from Life (2010). And ALMOST NUDE: Watercolors from Life (2011). She died July 3, 2013 in her Queens, New York residence.


  • Other Work

    • One-person shows include Society Illustrators, New York City, 1977, 2005, 2008, Art Directors Club, New York City, 1978, Gallerie Nowe Miasto, Warsaw, 1978, Gallerie Baumeister, Munich, 1978, Hansen-Feuerman Gallery, New York City, 1980, Krannert Museum/U. Illinois, 1998, Art Gallery at Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1998, Spring Studio, 2006. Group shows include Museum Contemporary Crafts, New York City, 1975, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1976, Museum Warsaw, 1976, 78, Museum Tokyo, 1979, National Watercolor Society, 1989, Salmagundi Club, 1990, New England Watercolor Society Open, 1990, Mississippi Watercolor Grand National, 1990, Illustration West 29, 1990, Adirondack National, 1990, Die Verlassenen Schuhe, 1993, New York restaurant School, 1994, Lizan-Tops Gallery, 1996, 2005, The Art Club, 2000, Museum at Fashion Institute American, 2003, Society Illustrators, New York City, 2004, The Hopper House, 2006, Spring Studio, 2007, New York Society Illustrators, 2008. Represented in permanent collections: Smithsonian Institution, Museum Warsaw.

      Author, illustrator: Watercolor for Illustration. Produced 3 instructional watercolor videos. Series of prints public, 1995.

      Series of plates publication, 1995. Co-curator Tomas Gonda Retrospective, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rutgers University, Carnegie Mellon University, others in the United States, Museum Modern Art, Buenos Aires, Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany. Illustrator Lights Along the Path, 1999, The Healing Garden, 1999, Mostly Nude, 2010.

      Contributor articles to professional journals.


Member of Graphic Artists Guild (director 1975-1979), Society Illustrators, Women Artists of the West, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.


Married Onnig Kalfayan, April 23, 1967 (divorced 1972). Married Tomás Gonda, January 1983 (deceased 1988).

Henry Morganstern

Emily (Cook) Morganstern

Onnig Kalfayan

Tomás Gonda