About Proverbidioms

A Brief History of the Famous Painting


T. E. Breitenbach 1975, 1980

Proverbidioms is completed in 1975. The artist is 24 years old.
Proverbidioms is published as a poster, 1980-present

Proverbidioms is used as a set piece for a Touchstone / Disney TV pilot
tentatively titled "Paranormal Girl", 2002
Proverbidioms has been broadcast into tens of millions of homes the world
over as a set piece seen on many episodes of the television show
"Beverly Hills 90210", Late 1990s
Proverbidioms is spotted on the set of "As the World Turns" 1996
A Proverbidioms short film plays numerous times on Public Television, Early 1980s

republished as a jigsaw puzzle by SunsOut, 1997
becomes the best-selling jigsaw puzzle for Bits and Pieces, 1992

Proverbidioms is pictured and/or discussed in the following publications:
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, (upcoming) 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, 1997
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
Psychology Today, a psychology textbook, 1980s
CAPS 1977-78, A Catalog of New York State Artists, 1978
And More!

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 extensively for teaching the deaf. Several Video CDs
were published showing how to teach with Proverbidioms.
Proverbidioms is also used by speech therapists.

Displays of Proverbidioms are too numerous to mention, however some notable exhibitions 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 has invented a board game version of Proverbidioms, however this has never been published, 1982

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

How would you like to own a full-size replica
of the original "Proverbidioms", almost 6 feet wide
& made especially for you?!


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