BJORN AGAIN IN DALLAS

World-renowned Danish artist Bjorn Wiinblad has once again given a little more beauty, culture and charm to Dallas with his costume and set designs for the Dallas Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker. Wiinblad’s characteristic whimsical style will surely add a boost of color and excitement to the beloved ballet, which opens with a gala preview December 14 at the Majestic Theater.

Wiinblad has had an impact on art in Dallas and the nation for nearly 30 years, so his work is not unknown in this city, although his name may be. In 1954, the native of Copenhagen designed the poster for Neiman-Marcus’ Fashion Week, thus beginning a long association with Stanley Marcus and the department store. That same year, he had his first American one-man show at Georg Jensen in New York City. Since that time, Wiinblad has done interior design projects for Marcus and Dallas developer Trammell Crow. In 1965, he collaborated on costume and set designs for a Dallas Theater Center production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and also acted as a co-director. He also owns a local store called Bjorn Wiinblads Hus, where some of his works are displayed.

Among Wiinblad’s Dallas projects are specially designed tapestries, sculptures, carpets and a stained glass dome for the Loews Anatole Hotel and five huge ceramic sculptures for the World Trade Center. In 1973, he unveiled his Scheherazade Tapestries display at the Dallas Apparel Mart. The Portuguese-inspired works, which measure 23 feet by 41 feet, are said to be the largest tapestries woven in this century.

It’s Wiinblad’s versatility that has gained him undisputed respect in the artistic community as well as public popularity. He was knighted by the queen of Denmark in 1976, and he’s also a skilled ceramicist and an illustrator of posters, wrapping paper and children’s books. What keeps the 66-year-old artist coming up with fresh ideas? It’s the phrase he uses to describe his attitude about his work: “Joy in beauty.”

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