Linda Jones and Craig Kausen, daughter and grandson of fabled animation director and artist, Chuck Jones, have donated the Chuck Jones lithograph titled The Scweam, to the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway following the theft of Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, this past week.
Chuck Jones, creator of many beloved Looney Tunes characters, is said to have been a great admirer of Munch’s works. In 1990, the legendary animation director paid tribute to the artist’s best-known masterpiece with his own light-hearted rendition featuring Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
In a letter to the museum’s curators, Craig Kausen wrote, "When we heard of the tragic theft of The Scream, we were heartbroken to think that your patrons, visitors and Munch admirers would be unable to enjoy this masterpiece while the despots and fiends are tracked down and this work of genius is returned. Although nothing will replace Mr. Munch’s masterpiece, we are offering Mr. Jones’ rendition to hang in its stead during its hopefully brief absence.”
Beginning in the late 1980s, Jones created a series of original paintings that rendered his own unique interpretation of many of his favorite artist’s works. In addition to paying homage to Munch, Jones re-imagined classic paintings by Salvador Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh and James Whistler, to name a few. Eleven of these paintings were then created as limited edition hand-pulled lithographs. The Scweam was the first of the series of lithographs to become entirely sold through. The example sent to the Munch Museum is from the family’s personal archives, which itself fell victim to a string of burglaries in the early 1990s.
Chuck Jones, who passed away last year, was a self-described "midwife" in the development of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and is credited with the creation of the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew and Michigan J. Frog. He made more than 300 films, three of which have won Academy Awards. His artwork is showcased in museums and galleries throughout the world.