Charles Ashford Binger was born in London, England on October 12th, 1907. His grandparents emigrated from Russia
to England where they established a fine tailoring and dressmaking business. Young Charles trained in the family trade, but never quite took to it. Instead, he would make drawings all over the pattern pieces, which infuriated his parents. Charles wanted to be an artist, and attended St. Martin's School of Art, The Slade School and the Bolt Court, London, where he studied all the fine art techniques of the era.
During the 1920s and 1930s, he went to work for Twentieth Century Fox Film Studios, UK, as a portrait and film poster artist. His flattering portraiture made plain women look gorgeous and ordinary men dashing, while still capturing an exact likeness, and soon he was doing portraits of all the famous actors of the day. He continued to do portraits throughout his career, painting hundreds ranging from film stars to CEOs and their wives.
When World War II broke out, Charles served in the London Fire Service, and the Air Sea Rescue Research, where he met General Solbert (the president of Eastman Kodak) who recommended his portraiture talents to the crowned heads of Europe, including King Peter of Yugoslavia, Queen Alexandra, Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill among others. He was commissioned to do portraits of the Bomber Command Eagle Squadron, first Americans in the European Theatre, for publication. There were nine murals in all, each fifteen feet long and eight feet tall. They exhibited all over England from Hendon Town Hall to Wembly, and are now likely scattered among wealthy private collections and local war museums across the English countryside. His other wartime contributions included commercial art for countless press exchange and advertising agencies. Chief among these was the Squander Bug cartoon for the English Savings Bond Campaign, placed throughout the English subway system.
After the war had ended, Charles and his family moved to the United States and settled in New York City. From 1948 through the 1970s, Charles Binger became famous for his work as an illustrative painter. He worked (among others) for Colliers Magazine, Fawcett Publications, Signet, Pyramid, Pocket, Gold Medal, Dell, Crest, Cardinal, Bantam and Avon Books. His cover art for authors Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury became the gold standard for Science Fiction, and his pin-ups and pulp covers raised the bar of the hard-boiled detective novel. His movie poster paintings were often the first impression audiences had of the blockbusters of the time and he was Marilyn Monroe's favorite poster artist leading to his creation of the classic one-sheets for Niagara, Don't Bother to Knock, and River of No Return. Other timeless epics include Titanic, The Song of Bernadette, Run Silent Run Deep, The Egyptian, and The Commancheros.
In the early 1960s Charles Binger joined the Society of Illustrators in New York City with fellow members Don Kingman and Ben Shawn. In 1966 the Society hosted a special exhibition to showcase his exceptional talent as a pin-up artist. The front-of-house placard declared, "An exhibition of the work of Charles Binger, introducing some of America's most beautiful women!"
Charles Binger died in 1974. This is the first exhibition of his work in 45 years.