Monday, December 01, 2008

Jan Balet Sends a Christmas Gift

Most of you will recall our recent look at the career of Jan Balet. Among Balet's many high-profile assignments was his long-running series of Lee's Carpet ads.

As we once more kick off 'The Countdown to Christmas', I'm delighted to share with you this note I received from Jan Balet himself last month...

Along with the note came two books - one, a beautiful collection of the artist's recent work; the other, a wonderful photo collection by Martin Möll celebrating Balet's 85th birthday. The book is copyright 1998, meaning that Jan Balet is now 95.

I'm sure you all join me in hoping he makes a speedy recovery from his time in the hospital, and I look forward to presenting a second week on his career based on our eventual correspondence - hopefully some time early next year!

* My Jan Balet Flickr set.

* Photo © Martin Möll


  1. Such a wonderful gift to receive a personal note from the great man himself. His illustrations are top of my list for inspiration so I look forward to your follow up articles.

    Get well Mr. Balet.


  2. Wow, that's amazing, Leif! I just posted a fantastic cover he did for Better Homes & Garden on my blog, too. Perfect timing. 95? What an incredible life he's lead! Thanks for sharing with us, Leif!

  3. Fantastic to see this, Leif. I'm sure this makes all the work you put into Today's Inspiration worth it. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. Anonymous3:23 AM

    How great!

    For me, the Jan Balet posts have been some of the most exciting. I love the storybook style, and the work of Mr. Balet is as good as it gets!

    It's nice to look back and see the Christmas theme on some of Balet's other work you've posted, namely the Lee's carpet illustration with a lounging Santa and his concerned reindeer, and the images from "The Year Without a Santa Claus."

    I hope that you'll be able to pass on our continued appreciation for Mr. Balet's work, and our sincere wishes for his good health.

  5. Wonderful work... thanks for posting and my best wishes to Jan...

  6. Mr Balet is one of the greatest!

  7. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Love those Pegasus like deers, they have an uplifting touch to me. Feels like Christmas coming.

    The combination of lights and deer or reindeer antlers has always hounted me since I first saw pictures of St.Hubertus' vision of a white deer in the dark woods with that shining cross in between its horns.

    Wish you all the best, Mr. Balet!

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  9. i really look forward to reading more about this man, his life and work.

    get well mr. balet

    best regards,

  10. The Christmas picture of the boy looking at his locomotive engine,
    that was me in the 1950's.
    I never had chidren and I am sorry about missing moments like that depicted by Jan Balet. Well Done friend.
    Trains were a BIG deal in the
    1950's in the U.S.A.

  11. i just stumbled upon your blog, and wow, I am so blown away to see all of these gorgeous images. -And the flickr album too.
    thank you for sharing. I'll be here often!

  12. I have known Jan Balet on and off my entire life. Fortunately I have spent a great deal of time with him over the past number of years. He wa amazed that his work was on the internet. Since you know that he hasn't been well I thought you should know that sadly, Jan died on January 31st. The world will be a "grayer" place without him.

  13. Dear Susan;

    How very sad. I certainly appreciate you letting me know. Many thanks and best wishes - Leif

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