One day, when he was supposed to be eating his lunch, Art Editor Ken Stuart sketched a design for this week's Walt Disney cover on his napkin. When it came time to select a painter, he remembered that Gustaf Tenggren, world-famous illustrator of children's books, especially of the fairy-tale genre, had some years ago worked with Disney on phases of the exquisite Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia films. Stuart had to search around some to locate Tenggren, as fairy-tale illustrations have been a little out of the Post's line. Presently pinpointing the illustrator and his charming wife living in a 115-year-old house on an island off the Maine coast (there's a bridge), he sent the painter his design, but not on the napkin. Three weeks later, in came the painting; Tenggren had had a grand time doing it.
A quick biography of this Swedish-born man hurries across several maps: at eighteen, an illustrator of Swedish fairy-talc books; at nineteen, similar success in Denmark; then, as the first World War began, to America to succeed brilliantly in New York with what one critic has termed "the imaginative charm of his childhood themes and the artist's blending of mature humor, color and style." Presently he went to the land of Disney. And by and by back east, finally to Dogfish Head, West Southport, Maine. Parenthetically, mustn't it be a bit chilly there in winter, with the ocean outside the door? "Oh," says Mrs. Tenggren, "the sea tempers the air. Besides, let me tell you about our great fireplaces."
It seems that Tenggren paints in long, intensive gusts—in the A.M., the P.M., the evening, and why pause for weekends? Then, having had it, suddenly he switches to his other self (or selves), into an architect, a builder, a cabinetmaker, a plumber, a mason, and an artist at every craft. With his own hands and tools, seldom with a single helper, he has wholly re-created his venerable house into a place of rare functionalism and beauty—and now he's doing likewise with his studio, the ancient barn. Mrs. Tenggren suspects he is toying with the idea of building a new house. As for those fireplaces: each his own gracious design, each consumes six-foot logs. And to cap the climax of his artistry, they don't smoke.
- How They Evolved the Story of Walt Disney
- How To Build A Cover
- Inside Information on the Disney Cover
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 1 - The daughter of one of the most famous Americans tells the surprising, unknown story of his private life.
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 2 - Hard Times in Kansas City
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 3 - The Coming of the Mouse
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 4 - When the Animals Began to Talk
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 5 - Suddenly He was a Genius
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 6 - Disney's Folleys
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 7 - Mickey Mouse Becomes a Secret Weapon
- My Dad, Walt Disney - Part 8 - Small Boy's Dream Come True