Description

    GUSTAF TENGGREN (American, 1896-1970)
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, original promotional art, 1937
    Mixed media on paper
    18.5 x 14.5 in.
    Not signed
    The coming of Walt Disney's first feature-length animated film resulted in this wonderfully detailed movie poster illustration by the great children's book artist, Gustaf Tenggren. In 1936 Tenggren was hired by The Walt Disney Company to work as the stylist on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first American feature-length animated film. He created the distinctive, Old World look that Walt Disney sought for his breakthrough animated feature. Although only minor characters in the version written by the Brothers Grimm, the Seven Dwarfs took on starring roles in Disney's film version. Tenggren's drawing captures perfectly the major characteristics of each of the Dwarfs, as well as the resonant, timeless beauty of Snow White. Offered here is the original art used as the centerpiece of the exceptionally rare 40 X 60 in. Snow White poster. The poster appears in the original press book, and it was priced at $1.25 apiece to theater owners. Featuring Tenggren's artwork, this poster has long been the most desirable image from the film as it displays all of the major characters.

    The all-important Disney film called for something new in style and design to match the storybook mood of the piece. Walt Disney personally searched for and chose the key artist of exceptional talent who would create the drawings and paintings that would excite his entire staff--Gustaf Tenggren. At the time of Snow White, Tenngren's work represented the best of the "Golden Age of Illustration" in the Edwardian gift book era, and his art was ranked alongside such luminaries as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, and Kay Nielsen. As intended, Tenggren's image inspired the Disney artists to do their finest work in finding the right mood for the scenes and backgrounds, and this art was also used for posters, promotional flyers, ads, children's books, as well as the studio stationary used during production of the film. The success of Snow White guaranteed the continued production of four other full-length features, including Pinocchio.

    Tenggren's early, peak period Disney artwork is eagerly sought-after and to state that this is a landmark piece of animation art is a major understatement - in short, this incredible, iconic original is the most important image from Walt Disney's most important animated film by its most important artist. Smaller, significantly lesser quality Tenggren drawings for Snow White have sold for prices of $60,000 and up. This is the ultimate piece of animation art from the entire history of the medium and a true American treasure. As such, our offering represents a historic and unparalleled opportunity. The importance and rarity of the Snow White poster yielded a record price of $65,750, and this original art centerpiece is sure to reach a record-setting benchmark as well.


    Condition Report*:

    Hinged with archival tap on upper and bottom edges to board; faint discoloration around extreme edges from due to mating and frame; scattered accretions in title area and slight creasing to the left of “Walt” and under the “and”; very light surface grime throughout upper background area; small accretion on “Sleepy’s” left show; otherwise in very good condition. Framed under glass to an overall size of 28.5 x 25 inches.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2011
    11th-12th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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