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A Brief Biography of T. E. Breitenbach

Artist T. E. Breitenbach
Recently released is an eBook containing the much requested answer keys for all the puzzle posters. It's titled, Proverbidioms: All the Answers & Trivia and is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It can be read on any computer or tablet with their free software.
     The artist was recently featured on public television's AHA! (A House for Arts) series.
    The 2013 edition of the original Proverbidioms poster has been digitally re-mastered and is now ultra-sharp! This edition is available only from the artist's web store.
     The latest poster release is titled Accidents Waiting to Happen, where everything is on the edge of going wrong.
    Proverbidioms the App for iPad is now available for free (the light version) through the iTunes App Store. Mr. Breitenbach also has an article about his collaboration with Jim Morrison of the Doors appearing in the newly released book, You Make Me Real, a collection of articles by Doors band members and others, and edited by Rui Silva. (A Portuguese version was released earlier.)

  Born in Queens, New York in 1951
  In High School, builds a harpsichord, clavichord and six grandfather clocks, learning to paint while decorating the cabinets. 1966-68
  Attended the University of Notre Dame 1969-72
  Painted a triptych for Jim Morrison of the Doors 1970
  Left the university for Italy, when he became the youngest person to win the Prix de Rome fellowship in painting 1972-74
  Completed Proverbidioms in 1975 at age 24
  Began construction of his castle 1975
  Received a CAPS fellowship (now called New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships) in 1978
  Published Proverbidioms the poster 1980
  Proverbidioms has become America's best selling poster. It has reached over 100 countries around the globe, primarily as a teaching device.
  Proverbidioms appears or is discussed in many books and scholarly works, has been twice published by jigsaw puzzle companies, appeared on television sets, and has been counterfeited several times. For a detailed history of Proverbidioms, see below.
  Breitenbach directs the first performance of his musical, Hieronymus in 1999, and Little Black Boxes in 2000
The artist scores two films for his son Travis, and acts in another called Seven Days of Samsara 2002-2004. To hear Mr. Breitenbach's film music click here. To visit his son's web site click here.
  Breitenbach produces and directs for public television a large-scale production of his musical Hieronymus, at Proctors Theater, Schenectady 2016
      Breitenbach has exhibited internationally, but prefers to publish and license his work. A trust is being created for Breitenbach's artwork and castle to become a future museum.




A History of the Famous Painting

© T. E. Breitenbach 1975, 1980

 A Poster is Available Here

Proverbidioms is completed in 1975. The artist is 24 years old.
Proverbidioms is published as a poster, 1980-present
Proverbidioms the poster is digitally re-mastered and published in an ultra-sharp edition, 2013

Proverbidioms is used as a set piece for a Touchstone / Disney TV pilot
      tentatively titled "Paranormal Girl", 2002
Proverbidioms appears in episodes of the television show "Beverly Hills 90210", Late 1990s
Proverbidioms and other posters appear on the set of "As the World Turns" 1996

Breitenbach's Shakespearience appears on the set of Saved by the Bell: The College years,

      Episode 1, first aired May 22, 1993, 15 minutes in at Zach's party for Leslie.
A Proverbidioms short film plays numerous times on Public Television, Early 1980s

Proverbidioms is pictured and/or discussed in the following publications:


Inspiring Artists Series: Pieter Bruegel The Elder, by Paul Rockett. Page 19.
      Proverbidioms and 2 details are pictured and discussed in a chapter
      titled "Painted Puzzles" in this British children's book series, 2016
Behold the Proverbs of a People; Proverbial Wisdom in Culture, Literature, &
      Politics, by Wolfgang Mieder, cover image, 2014
Proverbidioms: All the Answers & Trivia, by T. E. Breitenbach.
      Published as an eBook late December 2011, and updated January 2012
Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship (No.26 2009),
      "Creating a New Painting of Proverbs; Proverbidioms IV: Who Missed the Boat?"
      T.E.Breitenbach, Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, 2009 (upcoming)

Proverbs Speak Louder Than Words, Wolfgang Mieder, pages 267-269, 2008

Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship (No.24 2007),

      "The Proverb World of Thom Breitenbach. An Analysis of Proverbidioms",
      Bastian Scherbeck, Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, 2007
Guia e Recursos Didáticos, Projeto Buriti, Brazil. An educational children's series.
      Pages XXIV, 190-191, published 2007
Von Bruegel bis Breitenbach, Sprichwortdarstellungen im Wandel
      der Jahrhunderte, Bastian Scherbeck (masters thesis), Nurnberg, 2004
The Netherlandish Proverbs, Edited by Wolfgang Meider, full-color
      illus. of Proverbidioms and discussion, pages 229-232, 2004
What's in a Word, Robert Gorrell (jacket, Prov.II), 2001
Marketing Your Clinical Practice, Neil Baum, Gretchen Henkel, 1998, 2000, 2004
      (a medical practice book in which Proverbidioms is recommended
      as the ideal waiting room art)
Proverb Iconography, Wolfgang Mieder & Janet Sobieski, 1999

A Proverbs in Mind: The Cognitive Science of Proverbial Wit & Wisdom,

      Richard P. Honeck, (pg. 204), 1997
Proverbs Are Never Out of Season, Wolfgang Mieder, 1997
Preaching Proverbs, Alyce M. McKenzie (book jacket), 1996
Take Charge of Your Medical Practice: Before Someone Else Does It for You,

      Neil Baum, Elaine Zablocki, 1996 (Proverbidioms is recommended)
Watch Your Language, Robert Gorrell, 1994
AI Magazine, (cover, plus article discussion and detail) Fall 1990
Tradition and Innovation in Folk Literature, Wolfgang Mieder, (pg. 120) ISBN 0874513871, 1987
Psychology Today, a psychology textbook, 1980s

CAPS 1977-78, A Catalog of New York State Artists, 1978



The artist's complete art portfolio is licensed by Buffalo Games. The artist is promised his own line, Oct. 2011
New Proverbidioms puzzles are licensed by The Great American Puzzle Company, 2007-2010
republished as a jigsaw puzzle by SunsOut, 1997-Present
becomes the best-selling jigsaw puzzle for Bits and Pieces, 1992-1996

is licensed by Greenstone Games of New Zealand and published as an iPad/iPhone App. Programming is by AppStudio located in Israel. A free or light version is offered along with the in-app ability to purchase all four complete Proverbidioms pictures, 2011.


is licensed for calendars by Avalanche/Lang Publishing beginning with 2009


      THE SONG:
Proverbidioms inspires a song of the same title, by the hardcore group
      Multiple Personalities. It appears on their CD Dealing With Disorder, 2002

Counterfeit Proverbidioms posters were sold by Image Masters, 1983 - 1985 and
      again in 1996. Identification: Posters are slightly blurry, yet the printing on the
      book in the foreground is sharp. Some of the posters measure only
      26" across rather than 28".
600 smaller sized counterfeits are seized in New Orleans, and traced to a dead end in
      Texas, 1992. Identification: Artist's name and copyright are removed/blacked out.
PLEASE REPORT any suspicious Proverbidioms posters! Thanks!

Proverbidioms lesson plans published, 1992
Proverbidioms is used extensively in classrooms across the US.
Proverbidioms is used extensively in over 100 countries across the globe
      by several organizations, as a device for teaching advanced English
      comprehension to foreign students.
Proverbidioms is used for teaching the deaf. Several Video CDs were
      published showing how to teach with Proverbidioms.
Proverbidioms is also used by speech therapists.

Proverbidioms is used for corporate workshops about creativity.

Some notable displays of Proverbidioms include: The New York State Museum,
      The Fashion Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design,
      The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame,
      Center Galleries, Dietel Gallery at Emma Willard,
      Art Expo New York, The Canajoharie Library and Art Museum,
      and the New York State Legislative Office Building.

T-Shirts were manufactured using details from the painting, Early 1980's

The artist invents a board game version of Proverbidioms,
      It has never been published, 1992
Greenstone Games publishes Proverbidioms as an iPad app, 2012

Proverbidioms is available for merchandise licensing. Contact us if you
      are serious about marketing a product using the Proverbidioms
      name or images.  E-Mail



Last updated February 2012. Copyright T. E. Breitenbach. All rights reserved.

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About the Artist
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