Mary Blair's amazing artwork for Disney is the topic of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 17th Marc Davis Celebration of Animation lecture tomorrow night. Looks like a fun, interesting panel the creators from Disney and Pixar who've worked on Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc., Aladdin, Up, Pocahontas and more. Of course, the panel is already sold out, but it would be great to be a fly on the wall.
I'm fascinated by Blair's work. I included a chapter in my recent book, The Place of Lewis Carroll in Children's Literature, about the re-working of Alice in Wonderland by Jon Scieszka using the art that Blair created for Disney as an inspiration for his animated film. Not the best Alice adaptation because Scieszka doesn't bring his usual humor and confidence to Blair's dark and stylized work.
When we were in Disneyland during the summer, we were able to see an exhibit on Mary Blair's work. I thought that the panel talk would be a good opportunity to post some of the photos from that exhibit. The exhibit was near the entryway to Disneyland in the area on Main Street devoted to the history of Walt Disney and the theme park. It's one of my favorite sections because the older Disneyland is the one that seeped into my imagination while watching the Sunday night Disney television and The Mickey Mouse Club.
Looking at the photos again, which are obviously not perfect photos, reminds me how much Mary Blair was inspired by Henri Matisse cutouts.