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Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Pinocchio" (1940)-Tenggren 2-Sided Concept

I was blown away by the image on the left, reached down, picked it up and noticed the sketch on the reverse! It was attributed to Gustaf Tenggren (1896-1970) and looked like something he might have drawn. A Swedish artist, Tenggren started working at Disney a few years earlier, worked as an art director on "Snow White" (1937) and is credited for creating the European village "look" of the film. I was really struck by the totally different presentations -- on one side a smooth and flowing rendition with massive weight and, on the other side, an image that looks like it just came off the drafting table! The person that sold it to me suggested just showing the image on the left (since they didn't care for the image on the right). But I just couldn't bring myself to do it -- both images were fantastic in their own way...

So, I bought it and it sat in a file drawer for about 8 years. After all, how do you frame something like this? After talking with a framer, I decided to put the sheet in a double-sided frame with hanging attachments on the top of the frame so I could suspend the frame in an area where people could walk around this great piece of art. As you can see from the top two images, the framing looks identical from either side. And its fun to watch people look at this neat piece of art for the first time -- to see that they feel some of the same wonder I felt when looking at Tenggren's concept art for the first time.

P.S. -- Some might remember Tenggren as the illustrator of Janette Sebring Lowrey's "The Poky Little Puppy" (Simon & Schuster; 1942) of the "Little Golden Books" series. (IMDB: Gustaf Tenggren). Frankly, the styles don't look anything alike, but what do I know...


----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Pinocchio” (1940). An unusual two-sided pencil sketch attributed to Gustaf Tenggren (1896-1970). Pencil concept of village #1 shows a ground-up perspective on a building with a very dark feel. On the back side is another drawing -- more mechanical in nature -- of a church on a corner of a street with other houses. The darker image has a much better feel. Mounted in 2-sided open frame. [Item: 11-7/8"W x 16"H] Acquired 1998. SeqID-0345

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