2020-04-10 05:26:49 UTC
He also illustrated "The Poky Little Puppy."
Born in Sweden, he moved to the US at age 24, in 1920.
I found one tribute, at least:
And, from 2017, a long, GORGEOUS article about his work for Disney:
I have his edition of "Thumbelina."
(booklist - to my surprise, he illustrated "Heidi," "The Ring of the Nibelung," "The Canterbury Tales," and Hawthorne's "Tanglewood Tales." Plus Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales - and "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" - his last book.)
(about a Stockholm exhibit that runs to the end of May - but who knows if it's open right now)
And, in my humble opinion, while he and other illustrators certainly made various Golden Books worth flipping through, the writers of those books are another matter altogether. You won't catch me READING most of them to a kid - let alone giving them to kids. All too often, they remind me of what Sandra Boynton said: "If it isn't good enough for adults, it isn't good enough for children."
But back to his genius...
Gustaf Tenggren was born in 1896 in Magra parish (now part of Alingsås Municipality), in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. In 1913 he received a scholarship to study painting at Valand, the art school in Gothenburg, Sweden. Tenggren's early schooling and artistic influences were solidly grounded in Scandinavian techniques, motifs and myths; he worked with illustrating in the popular Swedish folklore and fairy tales annual Bland Tomtar och Troll ("Among Gnomes and Trolls"), where he succeeded illustrator John Bauer.
After his first exhibition in 1920, Tenggren immigrated to the U.S. where he joined his sister in Cleveland, Ohio. Moving to New York City in 1922, he made a name for himself in magazine illustration and advertising, while continuing to illustrate children's books...
...Although his work for Disney was still in the Rackham fairy-tale illustration style, after he left the studio he never painted that way again. From 1942 to 1962, Tenggren worked for Little Golden Books with illustrations for children's books such as Tawny Scrawny Lion; Little Black Sambo and The Poky Little Puppy, which became the single all-time best-selling hardcover children's book in English; and "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table," Emma Gelders Sterne's retelling of the Arthurian Legend . During these years his production increased, as did the marketability of his name with a stream of Tenggren books.
After he moved to the United States in 1920, he never returned to Sweden again. Gustaf Tenggren died in 1970 at Dogfish Head in Southport, Maine...
(lots of covers - not just his Golden Books)
(2015 article about his life, with more artwork)
(3-minute Antiques Roadshow appraisal - care to guess what the price was, before you click on it?)
(short NPR piece from 2017)
Long article on Tenggren, his work for Disney, and a cover he did for the Saturday Evening Post:
"On June 22, 2017, Tenggren, who died in 1970, was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame."
(A LOT of his illustrations of classic fairy tales, plus some fantastic troll drawings, with commentary)
There are several videos too, elsewhere, but I can't link to all of them.
(a few Kirkus reviews)