GREG HILDEBRANDT BIOGRAPHY
year was 1939. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. Hitler
was waging war on Britain and France. The country's 131 million people
were lining up to see The Wizard of Oz, the Yankees won the World Series
Championship, a loaf of bread cost 8 cents, and, on January 23, the Brothers
Hildebrandt were born.
careers, Greg and Tim, identical twins, would work together and separately,
winning awards, fame, and challenges as illustrators. They would create
everything from the world famous poster for Star Wars, to the best-selling
calendars illustrating J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, to their
own fantasy novel, Urshurak. They also worked on advertising art, hundreds
of classic children's books, and the covers of numerous fantasy and science
.....Together they won the coveted Gold Medal
from the Society of Illustrators in New York. In 1973, the Child Study
Association chose their Giant Panda Book as a Children's Books of the
..... At the ripe old age of two, Greg and
Tim had already demonstrated the genesis of their artistic talents. Their
mother recalls George, their father, teaching the boys to color with crayons.
He noted that before long the twins had taken the crayons away from him,
and were even coloring within the lines.
..... Greg and Tim were strongly influenced
by many of the great comic books and strips of the era, especially Green
Lantern, Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon, Prince Valiant, Green Hornet,
Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman. At the age of eight, they emulated
the artwork in these comics, getting their first, and often frustrating,
lessons in anatomy and perspective.
..... Greg and Tim were also captivated by
other forms of fantasy: marionettes and puppets, especially Edgar Bergen
and Charlie McCarthy; science fiction novels and films, including Frankenstein,
and George Pal's classics When Worlds Collide and The War of the Worlds;
and illustrators, especially N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish.
..... Perhaps the biggest artistic influence
on the twins was the work of Walt Disney, specifically the animated features,
such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio and Fantasia. Greg
and Tim have both been asked to speak to the animation department of Disney
on their use of light and color.
..... The twins dreamed of becoming Disney
animators. This dream led them to their enrollment in Meinzinger's Art
School in Detroit, when they learned that all hopeful Disney animators
must have some formal art training. While they did not ultimately work
for Disney, they would become celebrated animators and documentary filmmakers,
winning the Golden Eagle award for Project Hope. This film was a documentary
chronicling the efforts of a medical relief ship, and innovatively combined
live action with animation to tell its story.
..... In 1963 Greg & Tim moved from Detroit
to New Jersey. They came to work for Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The Bishop
sent them around the world making documentary films on hunger and poverty.
Greg & Tim also created art for the Bishop's TV show which aired weekly.
..... In 1969 they decided to take a new
path and began illustrating childrenıs books for all the major publishers.
This would consume them for the next six years.
..... In 1975, the twins, then virtually
unknown as artists, burst into the world of illustration, winning the
opportunity to illustrate the 1976 Ballantine calendar based on J.R.R.
Tolkien's fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings. They went on to illustrate
the Tolkien calendars for the next two years, with the 1978 calendar selling
more than one million copies a record.
..... This sudden fame and exposure allowed
the twins, now known as the Brothers Hildebrandt, extraordinary opportunities.
They illustrated the best-selling novel by Terry Brooks, The Sword of
Shanarra. For the movies, they painted the poster for a 1979 re-release
of Barbarella, the 1981 fantasy film The Clash of the Titans, and the
world-famous poster for the history making film Star Wars.
..... The Hildebrandt's then went on to write
and illustrate their epic fantasy novel, Urshurak, which featured 16 full-color
paintings and over fifty black-and-white illustrations a publishing
event which reached the New York Times Bestsellers List.
..... In 1981, the Brothers separated to
pursue their own individual careers. Greg's art appeared on the covers
of several magazines, including Omni and Heavy Metal. Verkeke, one of
the largest international poster companies, created an entire series around
his art. The Franklin Mint, Lenox, Danbury and Bradford have issued Greg's
work on collector's plates, figurines, dolls, knives and swords. His art
has been used in advertising and has been licensed for such products as
puzzles, greeting cards, and French needlepoint canvases. His images have
also been reproduced on eight sets of trading cards.
..... In l984, Greg illustrated a calendar
based on Mary Stewart's widely acclaimed Merlin Trilogy; The Crystal Cave,
The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment. Greg has said, "Mary Stewart's
Merlin Trilogy is a major fantasy work with a large following...I had
an incredible feeling that my art had satisfied Lady Stewart when I received
a letter from her and she said that her words and characters were now
moving around in my world."
..... Following in the tradition of many
great illustrators, Greg went on to illustrate 15 heirloom classics and
fairy tale collections. The series included: The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin
and the Magic Lamp, Robin Hood, Dracula, and Phantom of the Opera. There
are over 3,500,000 copies in print of the combined titles. The New York
Times has said, "Fortunate the child or adult who receives a gift of classics
richly illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt."
..... Greg's artwork is collected by many
famous people, some of whom include: Michael Jackson and Robin Williams.
In February of 1993, Greg and Tim's centerfold painting of "The Unexpected
Party," from the 1977 Tolkien Calendar, sold for $150,000.
..... In 1993 Greg painted a cover for the
DC Comics' Spectre series. The comic was awarded DCıs Cover of the Month.
This painting marked Gregıs first foray into the field which had so inspired
him in his youth.
..... After 12 long but productive years,
the Brothers Hildebrandt reunited in 1993. They have continued to pursue
their individual careers as well as working together.
..... In 1994 Stan Lee contacted the Hildebrandts
to paint the pre-production art for an animated feature film on Thor.
..... In 1994, the Brothers completed 158
paintings for Fleer's Marvel Masterpieces Card Set depicting the Marvel
Universe. The card set was Fleer's best seller of the year. These fabulous
paintings were exhibited at the Alexander Gallery in New York City, and
many of them are hanging today in the Spiderwebart Art Gallery in Hopatcong,
New Jersey. For this set, Non-Sports Update magazine awarded Greg and
Tim their coveted "Gummy" award. Following the success of the Marvel Masterpieces,
Fleer asked the Brothers to paint over two dozen cards for their X-Men
and Spider-Man Card Sets.
..... In the brief time they managed to find
between projects, the Hildebrandts connected with Michael Uslan, executive
producer of the Batman films, to bring back the action adventure comic
strip Terry and the Pirates. Beginning on March 26, 1995, the nationally
syndicated strip ran continuously in newspapers for 53 weeks. They also
created pre-production film art for Michael Uslan on The Spirit, The Eye,
The Fly and Annie.
..... Greg and Tim were then commissioned
by Marvel to create a bookshelf-format comic book for its X-Men 2099 series,
entitled "Oasis." The Brothers spent the better part of a year creating
a fully painted graphic novel, which was published in 1996. Following
closely on the heels of "Oasis," Greg and Tim spent most of the following
year painting 100 pieces of art for Shadows of the Empire, George Lucasıs
new novel set in the ongoing Star Wars saga.
..... 1997 brought many new interesting projects
to Greg and Tim. They painted a Superman graphic novel for DC comics and
a pirate story of their own called The Emerald 7 for the Frazetta Fantasy
Magazine. They also created eighteen new trading cards for Fleer/Skybox,
a series of religious paintings for prints and pre-production art for
a new animated feature length movie produced by the Kraft Benjamin Agency.
..... They were asked to paint, for the National
Institute of Health and the American Diabetes Association, a piece that
was used as the promotional poster for the Diabetes Prevention Program.
The Theme of the program was Taming The Dragon Of Diabetes.
..... Their art book, Star Wars the Art of
Greg and Tim Hildebrandt was released in stores on November 17, 1997.
The book is 128 pages and spans 20 years of their Star Wars art. It was
the first in a series of art books on Greg and Tim's career.
..... In 1998 Greg and Tim created 6 large
paintings for Universal's Island's of Adventure Theme Park in Florida
and completed their paintings for the Random House book on the Star Wars
Episode 1, film.
..... 1999 was the year for Magic The Gathering,
book covers, comic covers and the beginning of a new Pin-up series by
..... Even though Greg and Tim have had highly
successful careers in other venues it seems as if their fans from the
1970's Tolkien calendars cannot let them go. So, after 21 years in the
making, in June of 2001 the circle of Tolkien finally became complete.
Watson Guptill along with Spiderwebart released the most complete compilation
of Hildebrandt Tolkien art in one book, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, The
Tolkien Years. This event could have only been followed up by one thing,
the reissue of the Tolkien Calendars from the 70's. The first one was
released for 2002. There will be 4 calendars in the series.
..... In addition to the Spiderwebart Gallery,
Greg and Tim's work is displayed in art galleries across the United States.
1. 1998 Franklin Mint Museum in Franklin, PA.
2. 1998 Every Picture Tells a Story in Los Angeles, CA
3. 1998 Elizabeth Stone Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan
4. 2000 Louis K. Meisel Gallery-Great American Pinup, NY
5. 2003 Every Picture Tells A Story, Santa Monica, CA
6. 2003 Mother Lode Gallery, Cave Creek, AZ
7. 2004 Louis Meisel Gallery, New York
.....When the Meisel
Gallery show opened in 2002 it revealed the first ever one-man show featuring
the fabulous American Beauties Pinup Art by Greg Hildebrandt. The 22 pieces
for the opening not only opened the eyes of the world, but they opened
the eyes of Greg as well. At 62 while most Americans are planning on their
future retirement Greg saw no end in sight. He continues to expand his
horizons and as he adventures on this latest endeavor he truly feels that
he has an entire lifetime ahead of him of American Beauties.
..... The art of the
Brothers Hildebrandt has brought the fantasies and dreams of children
of all ages to life. Their work is a pathway leading to the written word
and a journey into the imagination. Their legacy will continue to ignite
the desire for children and adults alike to embrace literature and art
in all its visual glory.