Detail of the Original movie poster artwork for Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ by John Alvin that sold for $394,000 art Heritage Auctions in Dallas
DALLAS— During an auction in Dallas recently, a collector paid $394,000 for the original promotional artwork for Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The artwork for the movie poster was part of Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art Auction in Dallas. With an opening price of $150, 000, the auction price of the artwork soared as collectors competed to acquire it. In the end, the artwork used for E.T. movie poster went to an anonymous collector.
Painted by John Alvin, the renowned E.T. movie poster artwork has been used to promote the movie in last 35 years. It has appeared on posters, DVD and VHS box covers, lobby cards, T-shirts, and many more consumer collectibles.
For 13 years, the E.T. movie poster artwork was hanging on the office wall of Hollywood writer and producer Bob Bendetson. Framed in museum-quality glass, the acrylic on board painting measuring 41 by 27-1/2 inches has retained its luminosity through the years.
The original movie poster artwork holds a special place for Alvin. In creating the painting, the illustrator used his own daughters hand as a model. Inspired by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, Alvin created an iconic piece that instantly resonated with movie enthusiasts. The painting shows E.T.’s finger touching that of an earthling. The connection between human and Extra-Terrestrial was absolutely electrifying. Alvin captures that bond with a bust of light at the point where the fingers touched.
That emotional connection between E.T. and his earthly friends achieved by Alvin’s powerful illustrating has been transfixing for his children. “Every time my son’s or daughter’s friends would see the painting they’d stand in front of it with their fingers touching in the same way,” recalled Bendetson.
Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions articulates the brilliance of the E.T. movie poster image and its impact on movie experience: “The compelling image of E.T.‘s finger touching a child’s with the Earth below perfectly captured the awe and wonderment of this movie that was nominated for nine Oscars,”
A greatest surprise for Jaster, however, was that the original E.T movie poster artwork has survived after all this years intact. “It’s incredible that the original art for the poster has survived this long in absolutely mint condition – but that only speaks to the love the owners have given the painting over the decades.”
A celebrated illustrator, Alvin is renowned in the movie industry for his exceptional illustrations and artworks. In addition to the E.T. movie poster artwork, Alvin has produced artwork for such blockbusters as Blade Runner, Gremlins, The Goonies, The Color Purple, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.