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Once upon a time...
by Asbjorn Lonvig
 
 
...and they lived happily ever after.
Isn't that the start and the finish line of any decent fairy tale?
I'm from Denmark.
Do you know any
well known
fairy tale writers from Denmark?
Think of "The Ugly Duckling".
Yes, Hans Christian Andersen of course.
He was born in the City of Odense on the 2nd of April 1805.
1805!
Yes, on the 2nd of April 2005
, the most well known Dane in the world,
author Hans Christian Andersen, would have been 200 years old. 
The anniversary is being celebrated with a huge cultural year devoted to Andersen,
both in Denmark and worldwide.



Once upon a time...
 
An Artist had an idea.
Odense City, where Hans Christian Andersen was born, celebrated 1000 year anniversary.
Odense City had chosen a Swan as logo for this 1000 year anniversary.
The Artist contacted the City Director of Odense City.
The Artist showed his Ugly Duckling to the City Director.
The city had to warm up in year 999, using
the Ugly Duckling on posters, post cards, stickers and  shopping bags.
That was what the Artist said.



Ugly Duckling
(renewed - 2004)

What!!!!? the City Director shouted. What !!!!?
And the Artist, that lived near by, went home.
Wondering what the City Director meant about the Ugly Duckling and the whole idea.

One month later the City Director wrote to the Artist and told him that Odense City would like to use the Ugly Duckling on thousands and thousands of posters, post cards, stickers and shopping bags.
The Artist was happy, very happy.

He became so happy that he instantly created 8 more motifs inspired by Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales for the City Director.
The Artist read Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales.
He listened to the fairy tales read aloud.

He studied old illustrations from the fairy tales.

He picked out 8 fairy tales.
And.
He created motifs inspired by The Tinder-Box, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier,
The Emperor's New Clothes, Simple-Simon, Willie Winkie, The Swineherd and Thumbelina.

Then the Artist went to the City Hall of Odense.
The City Director, the Minister of Tourism and the Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Festival Plays waited for him.
You would like to show us something, Artist - the City Director said a little impatient.
Yes, here you are...............................................


   

  

Simple Simon. Signed Hans Christian Andersen posters. The Tinder-Box, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Simple-Simon, The Emperor's New Clothes, Willie Winkie, The Swineherd and Thumbelina. By Asbjorn Lonvig, artist Denmark.Willie Winkie. Signed Hans Christian Andersen posters. The Tinder-Box, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Simple-Simon, The Emperor's New Clothes, Willie Winkie, The Swineherd and Thumbelina. By Asbjorn Lonvig, artist Denmark.The Swineherd. Signed Hans Christian Andersen posters. The Tinder-Box, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Simple-Simon, The Emperor's New Clothes, Willie Winkie, The Swineherd and Thumbelina. By Asbjorn Lonvig, artist Denmark.Tombelina. Signed Hans Christian Andersen posters. The Tinder-Box, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Simple-Simon, The Emperor's New Clothes, Willie Winkie, The Swineherd and Thumbelina. By Asbjorn Lonvig, artist Denmark.
Click on the small pictures to enlarge them

Before the Artist had finished his very well prepared speak on the Tinder-Box motif the City Director smiled:

Very well, Artist. Very well. Bravo.
Let's see them all.
Very well Artist. Very well. Bravo. Bravo.

The City Director,  the Minister of Tourism and the Director of the Festival Plays were so
exited that they called the clerk at once.
The clerk wrote: Post Cards, Posters and Signed Posters.
And as a gift for all the guests from all the world the clerk wrote: Boxes for Post Cards.

And the 1000 year anniversary was celebrated by publishing post cards, posters and signed posters in the Kingdom of Denmark and many other countries.
And 1000 boxes with 8 Post Cards were made ready for the anniversary guests.

The Director of the Festival Plays did not know what to do.
So.
He sat down in the City Hall for 7 days and 7 night and wrote a musical.
A musical about Hans Christian Andersen's life.
The musical was called "The Fairy Tale of my Life" (in Danish: "Mit Livs Eventyr")
and the Artist was asked to create the poster and the program cover for the musical.


"the fairy tale of my life"

The City Director, The Minister of Tourism and the Director of the Festival Plays were very pleased with the Artist.
He was
was hired to create the logo, the poster and the program cover for the Hans Christian Andersen Festival
Plays in the years to come.
That was in 1988.
What started with the celebration of Odense City's 1000 year anniversary - culminated in 2005.
With Hans Christian Andersen's bicentennial.
With a huge cultural year devoted to Hans Christian Andersen, both in Denmark and worldwide.

The director of the Hans Christian Andersen Festival Plays wrote a new musical inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, and the universe of fairy tale characters.
The musical was this time called "Fairy Tale in the Back Yard".
The musical had the main characters Kitty, who was a singer form today's world
and a member of a rock band -  and the fairy tale character Peter.

Peter was a drum player in the army and he had just returned home from war.

The Artist created the logo, the poster and the program cover for the musical to be played in the summer 2005 in the Funen Village in Odense City.


"Kitty and Peter"
logo, poster and program cover


and the Artist created these suggestions to wing design and set design

 
a Tinder-Box graffiti
on the back yard fence



      
a Simple-Simon graffiti
on the back yard wall



  
an Emperor graffiti
on the back yard house




and a Tombelina graffiti
on the back yard shanty



I know the names of the City Director, the Minister of Tourism and the Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Festival Plays.
But.
I do not know the name of the Artist.
Oh, now I remember - Asbjorn or something like that.

...and they all lived happily ever after.





And to the readers of Art News:

To celebrate Hans Christian Andersen's bicentennial in 2005,
the Hans Christian Andersen Center at
University of Southern Denmark  at Institute of Literature, Media and Cultural Studies
has helped me to guide you to
 All Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales in English
by Jean Hersholt:
The Complete Andersen is a rather extensive collection of Andersen's tales and this is the most comprehensive edition of Andersen's fairy tales in
English (American) on the internet.

You have to notice, however, that Simple-Simon is called Clumsy Hans
and Willie Winkie is called Ole Lukoie
in this collection.



Thanks to
Web Editor Lars Bo Jensen
University of Southern Denmark
Institute of Literature, Media and Cultural Studies
Hans Christian Andersen Center
Campusvej 55
5230 Odense
Denmark
Web:  http://www.humaniora.sdu.dk/


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