Written by: Lars EmanuelssonNews
Gustaf meets Mickey!


This summer:
See the Tenggren exhibition at Lasse Åberg's Museum!



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Written by: wse55375News
Marvellous attic treasure

Sensational finding in attic cleaning unknown Pinocchio painting by Gustaf Tenggren.

Just before Christmas, I received an e-mail that made my eyes pop from a woman in Portland, OR. She told me she had helped her dad to clean out the attic after her mom had passed away. She started to look through the piles of posters, prints and papers, and suddenly she spotted a painting that looked familiar. Her father told her to just dispose of the whole lot, but being an artist herself, she could see that it was an original watercolor. After browsing the web for similar artwork, she deducted it was a Pinocchio painting by Gustaf Tenggren and wrote to me for another opinion. Gasping for air, I could do nothing but confirm her conclusion. After some correspondence, going through the details of the painting, we had it all clear. This was indeed a conceptual painting for the scene where we meet Honest John and Gideon for the first time in the Pinocchio movie. In the sequence, it's springtime, the children are running to school and the two villains are strolling down an alley just before they will meet Pinocchio. The measurements of the painting are 27 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches and it depicts a typical Bavarian medieval village with residents doing their daily work. The painting is in great shape, having been protected from the light for some fifty years in the attic. On the back is a notation: 'portfolio #4' within a circle, maybe indicating a group of paintings for this sequence.

There is an oddity to the artwork that puts emphase to the issue of Tenggren's signing his paintings while working at Disney's studio. The signature is there in the left bottom corner but it's over-painted! In black-light it's perfectly visible, although there's actually no need to see the signature to recognize the Tenggren touch to the drawing and rendering in the piece. It's a well known saying that there was a conflict between Walt Disney and Gustaf Tenggren about his signing his stuff, and that this eventually led to his leaving the studio. Joe Grant claimed on my inquiry that it really wasn't an issue at all, and there are some other artist who signed their things as well. But this time, someone deliberately wanted to get rid of the signature by covering it with color, similar to the one in the background. It's a pretty messy job, and Tenggren himself would probably not have been so careless, let alone his self-esteem wouldn't have allowed it in the first place. So who did, and why, is still a mystery.

This piece is fully in line with the best ones already known and published, both in an artistical and historical respect. The owner has recently framed it and left it to be sold at Bonham - Butterfield's Auctions in Los Angeles at Sunday June 13, 2010. Naturally, they are very enthusiastic about it and hope it will draw great attention. It will be interesting to see if the signature issue will influence the bidding on this once-in-a-decade masterpiece. The catalog is now on-line, so take a look at the item here: Tenggren Painting



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Written by: wse55375News
Tenggren at Åbergs Museum

Gustaf Tenggren is slowly beginning to gain the fame he is worth, even in his paternal country Sweden. After the exhibition at Borås during summer of 2009, a Tenggren exhibition will be held this summer at Åberg's Museum in Bålsta, north of Stockholm. Click this link for Åbergs Museum.

Lasse Åberg is a Swedish well-renowned artist, designer, musician, author and film maker who has spent a good time collecting Disneyana, especially focusing on Mickey Mouse merchandise. He is said to have the fifth best collection of Mickey items in the World. Since Gustaf Tenggren was hired as an art director at the Walt Disney Studio 1936-1939 and put his mark on a number of classic animated movies, a.o. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio, his presence at this museum is nothing of a coincidence, but rather self-explanatory.
The show starts March 2, 2010 and runs to September 5. Don't miss it!

See a video with Lasse Aberg



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Written by: Lars EmanuelssonNews
Tenggren exhibition

This summer a major Tenggren show is being held at the Art Museum of Boras, a city on the west coast of Sweden. The show contains 54 Tenggren works, making it the largest European Tenggren exhibition so far. Apart from paintings, drawings and graphic art, a whole lot of his books is shown. There is also a diplay case with some of the many various merchandise to 'The Poky Little Puppy', Tenggren's 15 million copy seller for Simon & Schuster's Little Golden Books, and the most sold illustrated children's book ever.

The exhibition poster is an illustration for Elisabeth Coatsworth's fairy tale
'Dickey Byrd's Giraffe', first published in Good Housekeeping in 1927.

The Tenggren exhibition accompanies a major exhibition of Jim Dine's sculptures on the Pinocchio theme. For several years, Dine has been inspired from the figure of Pinocchio, remembering the strong impression the Disney movie made on him as a child.

From the Jim Dine Pinocchio sculpture exhibition at Boras Art Museum.

Jim Dine has a long lasting connection to the art life of Boras, and it is a pure coincidence that Gustaf Tenggren happens to be born in the little village Magra, just outside the city.
Jim Dine has also made a nine metre bronze Pinocchio sculpture for tha city of Boras. It was inaugurated in May 2008 and draws numerous tourists to the city.

Jim Dine's nine metre high Pinocchio bronze statue in Boras.

During the exhibition, the film 'Pinocchio' is shown at the museum daily.
The Tenggren show continues until September 13, 2009. The Jim Dine Pinocchio exhibition ends at September 20, and then it moves on to Kiasma Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland. The Tenggren exhibition will probably travel to some other Swedish cities, not yet decided on.



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Written by: Lars EmanuelssonNews
Memorial plate

To mark and cherish the place where Gustaf Tenggren was born November 3, 1896, the Bjärke local historical society has put up a memorial plate at Lottehagen in Magra. The place where the building once stood is now empty with few traces from the times when Gustaf's grandfather Johannes Teng lived here with his family. But that just makes keeping the memory of Magra's famous son still more important.

The memoryplate was inaugurated by Lisbeth Tenggren and Göran Teng, relatives to Gustaf Tenggren through their grandfathers, both cousins to Gustaf. At the far right, Christer Slätt, head of the Bjärke local historical society. The text reads: 'Lottehagen. Fairy tale artist Gustaf Tenggren was born here on November 3, 1896.'

A close-up of the memorial plate before it was put up.



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