fredag 2 maj 2014

With a whole lot of help from my friends!

Thanks to the kind and helpful assistance from Bjoern Larsen and Henrik Wilfred Christensen, two of the members of the Danish Jules Verne Society, I can now add a row of ten more Tenggren-illustrated books to my library. Let alone my own excitement, it was invaluable for my Tenggren research to be able to study them more closely.
The ten Jules Verne books illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren in 1919 and
published in 1922 by Jespersen's publishing Company, Copenhagen.
I'm so grateful to the members The Danish Jules Verne Society that
discovered the illustrations and helped me to get the books!
I think that this commission for Jespersen’s publishing company was a great challenge for Gustaf Tenggren when he received it in 1919. To judge from the consistency of style, the row of next to 60 drawings were executed during a concentrated period. It forced Tenggren to be quite efficient and to develop a drawing style that would fit both the printing process and the limited budget. This edition was meant to be an inexpensive one, which implied bulkier inlay paper and a more fragile cardboard binding.
Nevertheless, it’s an impressive piece of work to have been executed by a 23-year old artist, just let out of Valands School of Art, and on the verge to a 50-year career within illustration in USA.

20,000 leagues under the sea, cover painting by Gustaf Tenggren
The Children of Captain Grant, cover painting by Gustaf Tenggren
The advertisement for the book series tells us that Tenggren also made front covers for some of the books. It seems that these are the two first in the row, “20,000 leagues under the sea” and “The children of Captain Grant”, since the rest have covers already used earlier. Maybe it was due to loss of time that he didn’t complete the covers; he was also busy making the illustrations for Grimm’s Fairy Tales” for the same company.
As an example, here come the six illustrations for “The Children of Captain Grant”, probably published on the Internet for the first time. Enjoy!

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