So I wonder: is there anyone out there who can tell me anything about Alvin Hudson, or Spellbound? Did they put out other posters? Did they license the names? And could it be -- as seems very possible -- that Ralph Bakshi was influenced, just a bit, by this image in his conception of Gandalf for his Lord of the Rings movie? I'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows.
UPDATE 6/11/16: With thanks to my old friend and former student Patrick Robbins, I can report some additional detail on Spellbound, Inc. -- according to an item in the Akron Beacon Journal on December 6th, 1977, the company was founded by Bonnie Anderson and Merrilee Anthe, whose ambition was to become "Poster Queens." The article mentioned the popularity of Tolkien's work, and the recent airing of the Rankin-Bass Hobbit cartoon. It went on to note:
There are Tolkien posters, jigsaw puzzles, sweatshirts, T-shirts, calendars, games, national fan clubs and posters but not, as Bonnie and Merrilee saw, any made from oil paintings. The first poster from Spellbound is, of course, the Alvin Hudson painting of Gandalf.Alas, Bonnie and Merrilee were not destined to become poster-making magnates -- but certainly their first was a brilliant one. The article mentions Alvin Hudson as though his name would be recognized -- but he remains resolutely obscure.