Tenggren’s GREMLINS Tenggren’s GREMLINS

This magnificent painting appears in the current Illustration House “Illustration Art Auction” catalog. The title of the piece is “Gremlins and Fifinellas on an airplane.” It’s by Gustaf Tenggren, and it’s a watercolor illustration for “What Every Pilot Knows,” by Quentin Reynolds for Collier’s magazine (October 31, 1942). The caption for this image reads “It’s no joke to be sitting up at 20,000 feet� and hear them chattering among themselves out on the wings.” Quite a different interpretation of these characters than the Walt Disney/Walt Kelly/Bob Clampett versions we know and love. (Read the Disney version here.)In case you are interested in bidding for it, the auction takes place in New York on Saturday, May 20th. The pre-auction estimate is $9,000 – $12,000.
(Thanks, Don Brockway)POSTSCRIPT: Disney historian Jim Korkis adds: “While I have great respect and appreciation for Gustaff Tenggren, somebody made an error labelling the artwork Gremlins and Fifinellas on an airplane. According to the mythology that Roald Dahl developed with the Disney artists, gremlins are male, fifinellas are female, widgets are baby gremlins/fifinellas, and spandules are high altitude gremlins. There are no female gremlins on this airplane.”

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Jerry Beck

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