Robert Heindel (1938 - 2005)

Robert Heindel’s election to the Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2011 after his 2005 death was the capstone of a stellar artistic career. His illustrations appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post", "TIME", "Redbook" and "Sports Illustrated". He garnered awards from the major graphic arts competitions and many medals from the Society of Illustrators, as well as its prestigious Hamilton King Award in 1982 for a painting for the Dallas Ballet Company. His work is held in many public collections, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy of Dance in London, the Glasgow Museum (Scotland) and the Smithsonian and National Portrait Institute in Washington, D.C. In the early 1980’s, Heindel met Andrew Lloyd Webber, for whom he created iconic images for the musical spectaculars "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats". He followed those commissions with set and costume designs for the folk ballet "Still Life at the Penguin Café". In 1985 a major exhibition, “The Obsession of Dance by Robert Heindel” was shown at the Royal Festival Hall in London, with HRH The Princess Margaret attending the opening. In the 1990s he expanded his artistic horizons by accepting a commission to design sets and costumes for David Bintley’s "The Dancehouse". He was also exhibiting in Tokyo almost annually, having gained the attention of His Imperial Highness Prince Norihito Takamado. Reflecting his mastery of diverse art forms, Mr. Heindel painted vibrant images of the traditional Noh and Kabuki theaters in addition to those of avant-garde dance groups. Heindel’s late career focused more on creating paintings of the ballet, working with many of the leading ballet and dance companies including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet. He preferred to depict rehearsal periods rather than performance. He had major exhibitions of this work in America, Europe, & Japan. David Bintley, Artistic Director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet stated “Heindel is the greatest painter of dance since Degas”. Noted collectors of his work included Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, Prince Takamado of Japan, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Anthony Dowell, Michael Crawford, George Lucas, Harold Prince, and David Bintley.