Original E.T poster artwork could fetch $150,000 at Heritage Auctions
The original poster artwork for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial will lead a sale of illustration art at Heritage Auctions next month.
The iconic image of the two touching fingers is one of the most famous movie posters ever created, and the painting is expected to sell for $150,000.
E.T is widely regarded as Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, and one of the greatest films ever made. It held the record as the highest-grossing film of all time for 11 years, and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1994.
The artwork was created by John Alvin, the renowned artist who also produced posters for classics such as Blade Runner, Gremlins, The Goonies, The Color Purple, Aladdin and The Lion King.
As the appearance of E.T was kept top secret before the film's release, the poster offered the only clue as to what the creature might actually look like.
"This original painting is the image used for the standard initial release poster that fascinated millions before the movie's big release in 1982," said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage Auctions. "The movie became the highest-grossing film of the 1980s so owning this painting is like owning a part of American cinema and Illustration art history."
"It's one of the rarest artworks of the most often seen image from the movies," Jaster said. "It's incredible it has survived this long in absolutely mint condition – but that only speaks to the love the owners have given the painting over the decades."
For the past 13 years the painting has hung on the office wall of Bob Bendetson, a Hollywood writer and producer who acquired it from an executive at Universal Pictures.
"I wouldn't be as impressed if I owned a Chagall," said Bendetson. "Of course, if someone were to give me a Chagall for free, I wouldn't turn it down. But for some reason, this painting is more exciting to me. It's so cool to have had such an iconic piece hanging on my wall.
"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."
Having remained a treasure item for more than a decade, Bendetson has now consigned the artwork to auction with Heritage for one very simple reason.
"My wife decided that now with the kids in college, she wants to redo the office and sadly, the painting didn't make the cut."
The Heritage Auctions Illustration Art sale takes place in Dallas on October 12.
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