Audiobook: Manden Der Tegnede Danmark – fortællingen om Ib Antoni
MANDEN DER TEGNEDE DANMARK – fortællingen om Ib Antoni, written by Sara Alfort. Here it is as an audiobook in its Danish version, but it is also available in English, titled The Man Who Drew Denmark, translated by Heidi Flegal.
MANDEN DER TEGNEDE DANMARK is a story that has never been told before.
In postwar Denmark, at a time when the Danish economy desperately needed a jump-start, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with a group of Danish business people to implement an extensive and targeted PR programme abroad. They created a narrative about Denmark that has since become part of our collective consciousness, and on which Danish tourism and exports still rely today: the story of the little land of fairy tales, overflowing with bacon, happiness and elegant design. The artist they chose to illustrate this narrative was Ib Antoni.
IB ANTONI was the boy from Esbjerg, who, as a young illustrator, kicked in the doors to some of the largest advertising agencies in the world, from New York to Brussels. He won international awards and met royalty, ambassadors and ministers of state. He was the uncompromising artist who drew hundreds of sketches before he was satisfied. He was the hard-working globetrotter with a twinkle in his eye, a part of the ‘Mad men’ scene in New York in the 1950s, driving fast in his MG with the top down, his tweed cap on and a cigarette in his mouth. He was the astute businessman who flew around the world, even though he was terrified of flying. In 1973, his life was dramatically cut short. Antoni died, just 44 years old, as one of the 35 people killed in the fire at the Hotel Hafnia in Copenhagen.
He was called ‘the great Dane’ and referred to as ‘the national illustrator of Denmark’, but then he was forgotten. Until now.