Gustaf Tenggren's World

Gustaf Tenggren
awarded member of
Society of Illustrators'
Hall of Fame 1917

See images from the event

The book on Gustaf
Commercial art
Disney period
Golden Books
Dogfish Head
Image Gallery


Tenggren's home at West Southport, Maine

A period of rootless drifting had followed the breaking up from Los Angeles in 1939. Mollie and Gustaf had spent time in Mexico, Florida, and Cape Cod trying to find a place to stay permanently. During a sailing trip by the archipelago coast of Maine in 1943, they finally found what they had been looking for - a seaman's old homestead situated on the cape of Dogfish Head on Southport Island. They bought the property and returned the year after to settle down. The was all out of furniture and the only sourc of heat wa a large cast iron stove in the central room of the house, where they dwelled in a couple of bunk beds.

Gustaf's and Mollie's property on Dogfish Head, Southport Island, Maine

With the help of Gustaf's ideas and inventions and hired craftmen's knowledge, a radical refurbishing turned the place into a studio and a combined home, offering the calm and concentration that Gustaf needed to work. All they needed now was furniture as the house was completely empty. The large spaces and well-planned guest rooms welcomed friends and relatives to stay over night. The sailing boat took them to the nearest central place, West Southport, to buy groceries, and in winter when the cold and snow became unbearable, they went south; Florida, Mexico or Arizona were hot holiday resorts that offered Gustaf great views to paint from.

Tenggren's home and studio at Dogfish Head, Southport, Maine
Gustaf by the boathouse
Mollie and Gustaf at his 50th birtday November 3, 1946