The year was 1939. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. Hitler was waging war on Britain and France. Over 131 million people lined up to see The Wizard of OZ, the Yankees won the World Series, a loaf of bread cost 8 cents, and, on January 23, the Brothers Hildebrandt were born. Greg and Tim would work together and separately, and together again, winning awards and world fame.
They created everything from their fantasy novel, Urshurak, to the world renowned poster for Star Wars, to the best-selling calendars illustrating J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Together they also won the coveted Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
Greg and Tim were strongly influenced by many great comic books, like Green Lantern, Terry & the Pirates, Steve Canyon, Prince Valiant, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman. They were captivated by other forms of fantasy as well including marionettes, especially Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy; science fiction novels and films, including Frankenstein, When Worlds Collide and War of the Worlds; and illustrators N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. Perhaps their biggest influence was Walt Disney, especially his Snow White and Fantasia.
For years the brothers dreamed of becoming Disney animators. While they did not work for Disney, they became animators and documentary filmmakers, winning the Golden Eagle award for Project Hope. They illustrated the Sword of Shannara, painted the posters for Barbarella, Clash of the Titans, and the world-famous Star Wars. They went on to write and illustrate their epic fantasy novel, Urshurak, which reached the New York Times Bestsellers List.
In 1981 Greg and Tim separated to pursue separate careers. Greg's art has appeared on covers for Omni and Heavy Metal. The Franklin Mint and Lenox have issued his work on collector's plates, figurines, dolls, and swords. It has been on advertising for ABC and Dr. Pepper and has been licensed for many products. In l984, Greg illustrated Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy. Lady Stewart even wrote to him and said that her words and characters were moving around in Greg's world! He also illustrated 15 classics, including The Wizard of OZ, Aladdin, 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."
Tim illustrated calendars for TSR, Dungeons & Dragons, Realms of Wonder and The Dragon Riders of Pern. He painted numerous SCI-fi/fantasy covers including Amazing Stories, The Time of Transference, and The Byworlder. He was commissioned to paint the cover for the Illusion of Life by Disney animators Ollie Johnson and Frank Thomas. Tim's art has been on advertising for AT&T and Levi’s and on packages for Return of the Jedi.
After 12 years the Brothers reunited. Their works after their reunion appeared on horror steins, posters for Marvel, pre-production art for Stan Lee, a book on King Tut's Tomb, a pop-out book on dragons, a Marvel Masterpieces card set, X-Men and Spiderman card sets, Terry & The Pirates, an X-Men 2099 painted Bookshelf edition, and the Superman: Last God of Krypton graphic novel, which was fully painted by Greg and Tim. In the early 2000’s Greg and Tim were hired by Wizards of the Coast to paint over 100 different illustrations for Magic: The Gathering.
Many celebrities have an appreciation for the art of the Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, Paul O’Neill, and the owner of WordPerfect are amon Greg’s collectors. In February of 1993, the centerfold painting of The Unexpected Party, from the 1977 Tolkien calendar sold for $150,000! The Brothers Hildebrandt have created a vast collection of art that will remain treasured pieces for years to come!
Note: On June 11th, 2006 Tim passed away from complications due to diabetes.
Greg continues to paint and work every day. His love and passion for painting has only grown with his many years as a professional.
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