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In memory of Diane Disney Miller Magic


Essay by John Canemaker
Exhibition Curator

March 13september 7, 2014

The Walt Disney Family Museum
San Francisco, California

it brings me great pleasureto share with you Magic Color Flair: The World of Miller, Walts daughter and The Walt Disney Family Museums co-founder, to
Mary Blair, the catalog for the retrospective exhibition at The Walt Disney Family acquire these pieces for our permanent collection, and also due to the generosity of
Museum. The exhibition explores the career of one of Walts most beloved our dear friends and Blairs nieces, Maggie Richardson and Jeanne Chamberlain,
designers and art directors, and one of the most influential women in animation: who have loaned even more beautiful works for this exhibition. In addition to
Mary Blair. The exhibition opens in MarchWomens History Monthto honor sketchbooks kept during her South America trip and stunning concept art for
Blair as one of the immensely talented female artists who, in the early days of Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Peter Pan, the museum
animation at the Walt Disney Studios, helped crack the celluloid ceiling and pave is also happy to permanently host Blairs paint standcomplete with her trusty
the way for todays women animators, story artists, writers, and directors. brushes, favorite paints, and stylish eyeglassesas a shrine to our lady of flair.
If a woman can do the work as well, she is worth as much as a man, Walt But beyond Blairs immeasurable gifts to the animation world and her status
Disney famously declared in a speech to his employees in February 1941. The as one of the industrys first female icons, she herself was a treasure to Walt and
girl artists have the right to expect the same chances for advancement as men, his family. John Canemaker, exhibition curator, noted expert on Blairs lifework, 7
and I honestly believe they may eventually contribute something to this business and friend to the museum, has concluded that, Of all his artists, this female
that men never would or could. Less than a year later, Walts premonition about artist was Walts favorite. Her work even hung in the Disney family home in Los
the incredible possibilities for women at Disney was realized in Mary Blair. Angeles where Diane Disney Miller grew up. Sadly, Diane passed away before the
On the Good Neighbor policy tour with a group of artists traveling through opening of this exhibition, but we know that she would have been delighted to
South America to illustrate its people and ways of life, Blair developed the unique see the brilliant hues and sparkling inventiveness of Blairs work on the museum
and incredibly arresting, captivatingly colorful style for which shes known today. walls, as well as the joy experienced by our guests.
Once back stateside, her new aesthetic found expression in the animation depart- It was Dianes vision to honor her fathers favorite artiststo preserve their
ment at the Studios, where her lush color choices and charming, fresh art direc- work and share their talents with the public. With this exhibition and those to
tion heavily influenced the look and feel of Disney films for almost thirty years. come, we loyally keep her legacy alive. This catalog is dedicated to her memory.
And later in her life, after a robust career as a freelance illustrator, Blair rejoined
forces with Walt to create dazzling murals and interactive displays, demonstrat-
ing that women could not only do the work and do it well, but that they also could
chart new and imaginative territories in the world of art and design. Kirsten Komoroske
The Walt Disney Family Museum is fortunate to have many exceptional pieces Executive Director
of Blairs artwork and personal artifacts due to the commitment of Diane Disney The Walt Disney Family Museum

Mary Blair, circa 1941

Creating new world s

This is the most interesting job Ive ever had. [The] results are more
delightful than anything Ive tried before.1
Mary Blair regarding its a small world, 1964

When Mary Blair left the Disney Studio, the printing press supplanted the
cinema as the medium for the reproduction of her colorful art, American Artist
magazine reported.2 Actually, the print medium was but one of a variety of out-
lets for her adaptable talents from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s.
For example, she created more than twenty semiabstract designs for hand-
kerchiefs and scarfs manufactured by Carol Stanley Studios, New York, which
sold in Lord & Taylor and other specialty-retail upscale department stores. Also
for Lord & Taylor and branches in 1964, she designed womens suits and dresses
for the stores Beverly Paige label. She designed sets for lavish Christmas and
Easter pageants produced by Leon Leonidoff at Radio City Music Hall, and for
30 an unproduced Broadway musical with a Duke Ellington score titled Cole Black
and the Seven Dwarfs. In June 1962, she constructed paper sculptures for Bonwit
Tellers chic store windows on Fifth Avenue. She also designed TV commercials
for Pepsodent toothpaste, Meadow Gold Ice Cream, and other products through
her husbands film production company. David Swift, a former Disney animator
and later the director of Disney live-action films, such as Polyanna (1960) and
The Parent Trap (1961), hired Mary Blair as Color Designer for the live-action
film adaptation of the Broadway hit musical How to Succeed in Business Without
Really Trying (1967).
In the print medium, in addition to greeting cards and magazines, Mary
Blairs most widely seen illustrations were advertisements for national brands,
including Nabisco, Johnson & Johnson, Beatrice Foods, Maxwell House coffee
(utilizing twenty-four-sheet billboard posters), Meadow Gold Ice Cream, Blue
Bell childrens clothes, and Bakers Instant Cocoa, among other products.
A dozen Pall Mall cigarette ads, in a striking poster-like design, ran in two
national campaigns. Each ad features the familiar red cigarette pack surrounded
by foodgrapes, grapefruit, apples, pears, a shrimp cocktail, even a lobster
(because Pall Mall is So friendly to your taste!). In a rare, if oblique, statement

Mary Blair stands before her

Tomorrowland mural design
Disneyland, circa 1967
regarding a modern art influence on her work, Blair noted in a letter to Ross Care bountiful imagination and magical imagery are showcased in paintings that are
that the thick black line she painted around the cigarette pack incidentally came inventive in layout, color, and superb technical craftsmanship.
from inspiration that the SSC&B [ad agency] art director, Joe Franchina, received Her first book, Babys House (written by Gelolo McHugh) is suffused with a
upon seeing the Picasso exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In the same fascination with children and the joys of parenthood. (The Blairs second child
letter is a second Picasso reference: The question as to the changing design was born the year of the books publication, which may have something to do
trend at the time I went to work at Disney might be compared to the work of an with the exuberance of her illustrations, visible on pages 136137.) The New York
individual artist. They all evolve and change styles as time passes. Take Picasso Times lauded Babys House for portraying the young childs satisfaction in every-
as an example.3 day objects as Baby marches through his house, making a joyful inventory of
Among her most long-lasting and beloved print ventures are the whimsical those things that are important in the first years of life.6
illustrations she created for the childrens book genre, namely Golden Books. For The illustrations for I Can Fly (which was written by Ruth Krauss and also
more than fifty years her illustrated books have enchanted young readers, who published in 1950) reflect Blairs animation experience: The little girl mim-
pass them on (originals and reprints) to subsequent generations. ics the action and poses of animals she encounters, as the images on pages
Mary Blair had already illustrated two of her five Golden Books before she left 132135 show. The book was an even bigger success: The New York Herald
the Disney Studio, another indication (along with being allowed to work from Tribune awarded it a Picture Book Honor at the 1951 Childrens Spring Book
home) of how privileged and special she was in Walts eyes. She freelanced for Festival and it has remained in print for more than sixty years. Readers of all
Golden Books, along with a group of other former animation associates (mostly ages were (and continue to be) delighted by the inquisitive little girl in the
32 from Disney) who had moved to the East Coast, including John Parr Miller, story. In 1960, Jacqueline Kennedy wrote Blair a personal note from the White 33
Martin and Alice Provensen, Aurelius Battaglia, and Gustaf Tenggren. For them, House to say that I Can Fly is one of her three-year-old daughter Carolines and playfulness. It is an insular world, in which sadness and anger are emotional
Golden Books was not only a source of income but a vehicle for artistic expres- favorite books.7 notes not played, except inadvertently. In Little Verses, for example, a lost doll
sion.4 [Blairs] colleagues all painted and drew in highly individualistic styles Blairs delicate whimsy and inventiveness found an expansive outlet in resembling a broken Tim Burton puppet lies in a cold field among black beetles,
that nonetheless reflected some of the major tendencies in postwar graphic art Golden Books. In The Golden Book of Little Verses, for example, bees are busy and observed by a spooky white rabbit. More often, a dark background is inevitably set
and design, writes historian Leonard S. Marcus in Golden Legacy. sleepy, and worm/centipede cousins enjoy high tea underneath a flower garden. off by joyful activity in the foreground; as in a two-page spread of kids blowing
The costumed insects are individuated with charming anthropomorphism and pastel-hued bubbles alongside playful kittens and a flock of small colorful birds
Deftly straddling the line between traditional representation and more than a dollop of humor (see page 140). Interesting, too, is the dry brush (see page 141). After seeing Mary Blairs colors and her mesmerizing Golden Book
modernist abstraction, each of these inventive artists strove for an painting technique Blair uses to add texture to the ground and flower petals and, pictures, many a child became interested in art; indeed, because of this early
airy lightness and brightness of being-on-the-page that belonged to of course, her balancing of intense and neutral colors. Art director Fred Cline, exposure, numerous children were inspired to pursue a career in art.
the new streamlined age of glass-box skyscrapers, ribbon highways, who knew Lee and Mary Blair in their later years, notes that her color juxtapo- rapidly, almost feverishly, turned out due to tight production exigencies or the The preliminary and final illustrations in this exhibition for The Up and
and casual middle-class suburban living. Festive colors applied in sition is very pleasing, but very unusual. The work has a graphic sense, but not a need to get story and color dreams out of her head and onto paper. Down Book, Blairs last Golden Book, allow another glimpse into her creative
bold, surprising combinations made simply opening one of their hard feeling. The shapes are organic and she rubs tones to give some dimension. Absent, too, in the Golden Books were pressures to visualize narratives con- process (shown here and on pages 142147). Spidery, tentative pencil lines form
books a challenging as well as playful adventure.5 But she doesnt explain dimension in a logical way.8 taining high drama, low comedy, and a variety of emotions. Instead, her brief for the initial idea sketches, cautious as all inspirational sketches are when the light-
Her book deadlines were less intense than those of animated feature film the kids books was to gently evoke a childs wonder, sense of fun, and curiosity bulb in the artists mind begins to glow. In the finished paintings, however, all
Selected original illustrations in this exhibition include Mary Blairs Babys productions. For films, she painted (in an animators frame of mind) many, many about the world. Blair invests her books with subtle messages touting cooper- signs of hesitancy have fled. Now, strong thick lines surround the child charac-
House (1950), I Can Fly (1950), The Golden Book of Little Verses (1953), The variations to suggest ideas for staging, character poses, camera angles, and set- ation and inventiveness; using your imagination; and being kind and gentle to ters made from simple geometric shapes and bold straight-from-the-tube colors.
New Golden Song Book (1955), and The Up and Down Book (1964). In each, her tings. Some of her small paintings for Alice in Wonderland appear to have been playmates both human and animal. Her images glow with optimism, warmth, There is an in-your-face feeling of children (and the artist) letting go, playing,

Illustration Thumbnail sketch

The Up and Down Book (Golden Book), 1964 The Up and Down Book (Golden Book), 1964
opaque watercolor on illustration board | 1213 x 13
4 inches graphite and ink on onionskin paper | 11 x 14 inches
having fun, making lots of noise! The loud, posteresque look is reminiscent of that she designedand speaking in a husky voiceover, she demonstrates how
certain Blair advertising assignments and especially the collages she made for its she designed the eye clinic mural. In those precomputer days, the techniques
a small world, which was completed the same year (1964) that The Up and Down for transferring small sketches to a large mural were painstakingly ponderous
Book was published. and slow, involving manually moving slide projectors and making vellum paper
In 1963, Walt Disney came back into Blairs life like a benevolent uncle laden drawings on-site to scale. Here a narrator in the film explains:
with exciting gifts for a favorite but neglected niece. What Walt offered Mary for
the next three years was a series of creative challenges that would bring her art First, the small original sketch had to be enlarged to a full-size
to a new and literally large level. drawing. These grid squares represent the individual tiles, which
Her first assignment was a project for the 1964 New York Worlds Fair: a musi- would compose the finished mural. Now Mary projected a trans-
cal boat ride with mechanical dolls representing the children of the worlda parency of the original art full-scale directly on the paper to be
symbol of international unity, goodwill, and global peace. Walt decided that its a drawn upon. The projector was moved back and forth to adjust the
small world was an opportunity to stretch the creative muscles of his Imagineers, size. First small drawings of the children were enlarged for accu-
the team who contributed to the success of Disneyland (which opened in 1955), rate placement on the lines of the grid.
and he wanted Mary Blair and her designs to lead the way. She was motivated
by several factors: First, Walt personally chose her and offered his confidence Mary Blairs voiceover explains her techniques while performing them:
and trust; second, it was a project involving children; and, finally, her designs
34 would be showcased in a new dimensional form over which she would maintain In planning a mural such as this, the first consideration is the 35
creative carte blanche. After meetings at the studio in Burbank, Blair returned area in which it will be installed. The surrounding colors and light
to her home studio in Great Neck, Long Island, ready to stretch her creative mus- Using the wooden box lids as canvases, they shared layout and coloring duties sources will influence both color and design. Perhaps most import-
cles. Soon she was regularly sending to the West Coast a remarkable series of The audience travels right through it in small boats, seeing its five on five spontaneous dimensional paintings. We did it as a team, Crump ant is the medium in which the work will be executed. In this case,
collage designs that astonished her Imagineering colleagues. main areas unfold as the boat floats along a serpentine canal. The recalls. Then we glued some stuff on for hair. The hair came from a box ceramic tile. The startling thing about working in ceramics is the
This stuff started pouring in. Just wonderful! marveled her friend and audience moves, the performers move, and everyoneespecially Crump sent containing extra glitter, jewels, and paint, in case anything got great brilliance and clarity of the finished color. I have often com-
coworker Rolly Crump. It was the single biggest project that was ever given the childrenseem to have a grand time.11 hurt or broken. On the boxs cover he wrote Instant Small World. Just Add pared it to the brilliance of a watercolor while still wet. But it is dif-
to her and she was able to just go nuts! In dozens of brilliantly colored assem- Gin. She and I had a delightful time, Crumb recalls. It was absolutely ficult to put on paper the idea that you know will eventually appear
blages, she combined wallpaper cuttings, colored paper, cellophane, and acrylics Blairs its a small world attraction and (its title song) was an immediate hit. marvelous. I loved her dearly.12 in the brilliant ceramic glazes, and the artist must keep his concept
in interlocking geometric and organic shapes to bring a small world to life. When the attraction was duplicated in Disneyland in 1966 and Walt Disney World Walt and Marys next big project was unveiled in November 1966 at the new clearly in his mind as he designs. Enlarging a small sketch to such
Blairs collages, comments Karal Ann Marling, were like Frank Lloyd Wright in 1971, Blair made dozens more collages for exteriors and new scenes. Jules Stein Eye Institute at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences. In the chil- great size is much more than a mechanical process. The dimen-
married to Andy Warhol!9 For Walt, who never gave up on anything, It was the In the Walt Disney Family Museum exhibition are two prototype dolls for drens section of the outpatient clinic, Blair designed a large (220-square-foot) sions must be enlarged accurately, but there is a great difference
climax, noted Ben Sharpsteen (Disney director and producer) of all the years its a small world, as well as two unusual items cocreated by Mary Blair and mural of fired clay tiles in transparent colors. The design incorporates the door between a 20-inch design and a 20-foot one. The large expansion
that [he] spent trying to bring Mary Blairs influence into his productions. For Rolly Crump during the installation of the boat ride attraction at the Worlds to the examination room and depicts happy children from around the world, a becomes an original work in itself and the creative processes must
Mary Blair, as Crump put it, It was like shed died and gone to heaven.10 Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. Supervising the opening of wooden friendly welcome to ameliorate young patients going-to-the-doctor fears. continue through to its completion.13
I guess you could call it theatre-in-the-round, but its really much more, boxes containing the dolls and props and answering the staffs occasional The Ceramic Mural, a 16mm educational film released in 1967, is a valuable
Blair told a reporter, explaining the rides interactive combination of audio- questions, the two artists soon grew bored. Suddenly Mary and I decided and rare document of Mary Blair discussing and showing her step-by-step After years of innovation and delighting people all over the world, Walt Disney,
animatronic dolls, music, and audience participation. wed start painting because we didnt have anything to do, Crump said. creative process. Appearing on cameraattractive, cool, and chic in clothes Mary Blairs champion, died on December 15, 1966. When he died Mary was

Preliminary design for Europe Ceramic mural by Mary Blair at The Jules
its a small world, 1964 Stein Eye Institute childrens ward, circa 1966
opaque watercolor on paper | 10 x 13 inches
destroyed, Gyo Fujikawa, the well-known childrens book illustrator observed. The Contemporary Resort Hotel mural is a monumental work of art that takes
So sad and unhappy. She wept.14 ones breath away. It even did so to the artist: Of course I had seen the finished
Mary remembered Walt as one of the most wonderful men in the world. tiles laid out on a large table in sections as Interpace [tile division of Franciscan
He was a family man, and he was willing to go along with all my commut- Ceramics] finished firing the final work, Blair recalled. When I eventually went
ing expense . . . Walt had a great deal of courage in starting new projects and to the opening of Disney World in Florida and walked into that giant concourse,
in encouraging talent. He knew talent when he found it. Before he died, Walt my reaction was Ohwow!19
arranged to involve her in designing large-scale projects into the early 1970s.15 With Blairs patron Walt Disney gone, no new commissions were forthcom-
Two such projects include huge Mary Blair murals (54 feet in length and 15 ing from the Disney company. In her last seven years, she made small personal
feet high) that face each other on two buildings (Adventures Through Inner Space artworks she called semi-dimensional paintings, which are part painting and
and the Bell System CircleVision), built in the summer of 1967 for Tomorrowland part constructions. When there are enough of them I will have an exhibition
at Disneyland. The corridor of textured ceramic tile murals was titled The possibly in San Francisco. However, illness and personal problems took a toll,
Spirit of Creative Energies Among Children. Here Walt saw Blairs stylizations and Mary died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 26, 1978, at age sixty-six.
capable of conveying reassuring messages about global communication and sci- Funny thing about her, observed animator Preston Blair, Marys brother-in-
entific advancements in satellites and solar and wind energy.16 law, some years after her death, she started [out] drawing somewhat of the same
The last of Blairs large-scale ceramic murals is located inside the Contem- thing as Leebig watercolor splashes. One thing she told me: I dont think I
porary Resort Hotel at Walt Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1971. could draw another watercolor if I wanted to. Shed become accustomed to the
36 Eighteen-thousand hand-painted tiles appear on a 90-foot elevator shaft in a design, and she was so successful at it. It [fine art watercolors] just wasnt her cup 37
mosaic depicting American Indian children, flowers, and animals in settings of tea anymore. She was very successful at being liked as an artist.20
and colors abstracted from the Grand Canyon. Blair found inspiration in South- To speculate on the road not takenwhat Mary Blair might have accomplished
western prehistoric rock pictographs, Pueblo murals and sand paintings, and had she concentrated on fine art watercolors or ceramics or purely abstract artis
her trips to Mexico three decades before. The Mary Blair child design, adapted futile and unnecessary. Mary Blair chose to focus her multitudinous artistic gifts in
from The Three Caballeros La Posadas, is ubiquitous in the work. the commercial sphere. It was her original goal at Chouinard: to become an illustra-
Blairs special charm is on full display on the huge mural, as well as a playful tor. Mary, who always knew what she wanted, as her sister Margaret often claimed,
mystery. Many visitors to the site wonder why a striped goat located near the top and was also very determined in a nice way, always got what she sought. Her artistic
has five legs. The artist never explained herself, but in her research she may have gifts, however, were so large, her versatility so encompassing, and her curiosity and
discovered the Cheyenne Spirit Bead tradition. To Cheyenne tribeswomen, bravery so bold, she went way beyond mere illustration to a major, diverse career in
spending hundreds of hours creating geometric patterned artworks made of the areas of film, costumes, set design, fine art, animation concepts, advertisements
beads and quills was a spiritual act, a prayer to the Great Spirit. Intentionally and books, theme park attractions, ceramics, sculpture, and collage.
they would weave or sew a wrong-colored bead into a perfect pattern as an act of To create ones own world takes courage, said Georgia OKeeffe. Mary
humility, recognizing the inherent imperfection of humans. Presuming that a Blairs fearless artistic sensibilities and magical paintbrush created an intense
human could create something perfect would be an affront to the true perfection reality all her own. No matter the subject matter or medium, the feeling of joy
of the gods.17 Maggie Richardson, Blairs niece, recalls that her aunt Mary was that she took in her limitless creativity is palpable, and it continues to communi-
always very spiritual . . . she would talk about [how] God is inside of you.18 cate and fascinate viewers of all ages all over the world.

John Canemaker
Photo documenting the construction process
of Mary Blairs mural for the Contemporary
Resort Hotel, circa 1971
the Rules
n this section of the exhibition are examples of work that Mary
Blair (then known as Mary Robinson) made as a scholarship
student at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Starting
in the fall of 1931, she began working at the school with the well-
known American illustrator Pruett Carter, with whom she contin-
ued to study privately after graduation. Carters instruction in the
art of composition and his rules for staging pictures and visualiz-
ing expressive emotions profoundly influenced the young woman.
He inspired her and encouraged her latent talent for dramatizing
a scene, which came to fruition when she began working as a con-
cept artist at the Walt Disney Studio.
In addition, there are several paintings exhibited that Mary
Robinson Blair made as a member of the California Water Color
Society, a regionalist art movement defined by representational
watercolors documenting everyday life on the Pacific Coast. The
president of the Society, starting in 1935, was Marys husband, Lee
Blair, a fellow Chouinard scholarship student, whom she wed in
1934. In both solo and group shows, the Blairs exhibited their work
in the mid- to late 1930s.
However, the need to augment their income led both artists to
work at L.A. animation studios, including the Walt Disney Studio.
Examples of Mary Blairs early Disney watercolor concept artworks
include Dumbo (1941) and Baby Ballet, a never-produced segment
for a 1941 addition to 1940s Fantasia.

Stormy Beach, circa 1930s

watercolor on paper | 21
2 x 264 inches
44 45

Elegy in a Country Churchyard, circa 1930s Untitled, circa 1930s

watercolor on paper | 1423 x 15
4 inches watercolor on paper | 14
2 x 152 inches
46 47

Sick Call, circa 1930s The Lady in Red, circa 1930s Untitled (minister and lady in white), circa 1930s
charcoal on paper | 1134 x 1434 inches watercolor and ink on paper | 32
2 x 262 inches
watercolor on paper | 3223 x 2413 inches
the Rules
n August 1941, Lee and Mary Blair became part of a group
of Disney Studio artists chosen by Walt Disney to travel with
him to South America. It was during this time that Mary Blair
developed her vibrant and colorful painting style, translating her
feelings about the 1941 tour of South America into vital, brilliantly
hued impressions with a heightened stylization.
The observational skills, enormous empathy, and sense of
wonder that found new expression on this trip are on full display
in the two framed portraits of Peruvian children at left, which she
painted during her visit to South America. They were among the
few Disney artworks ever displayed in the Los Angeles home of
Walt and Lillian Disney, an indication of how special Mary and her
art were to Walt and his family.
Walts discovery of Mary Blairs great and multitudinous
artistic gifts during the 1941 South America tour led him to assign
her numerous projects inside and outside the studio during the
war and postwar years. On the following pages is imagery for
60 61
diverse projects, such as the Latin American features Saludos
Amigos (1943) and The Three Caballeros (1945); the omnibus
features Make Mine Music (1946) and Melody Time (1948); the com-
bination live-action and animation features Song of the South (1946)
and So Dear to My Heart (1948); and the feature-length animations
Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953).
Blair traveled often during this period to Mexico, Cuba, Ireland,
and areas of the United States to gather pictorial material, creat-
ing dynamic pieces that still capture the imagination today.

Peruvian girl, circa 1941 Peruvian boy, circa 1941

watercolor on paper | 10
4 x 73 inches
watercolor on paper | 10
4 x 73 inches
84 85

Visual development Visual development

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, 1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, 1949
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 7 x 8 inches opaque watercolor on paper | 8 x 9
2 inches
94 95

Visual development Visual development

Cinderella, 1950 Cinderella, 1950
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 714 x 8 inches opaque watercolor on paperboard | 6
2 x 82 inches

Visual development Visual development

Cinderella, 1950 Cinderella, 1950
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 10 x 12 inches opaque watercolor on paperboard | 12
2 x 152 inches
118 119

Visual development Visual development

Peter Pan, 1953 Peter Pan, 1953
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 7
4 x 78 inches
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 723 x 834 inches
120 121

Visual development
Peter Pan, 1953
opaque watercolor on paperboard | 813 x 1818 inches

Preliminary design for South Seas Preliminary design for Europe Preliminary design collage
its a small world, 1964 its a small world, 1964 its a small world, 1964
opaque watercolor on paper | 11 x 14 inches opaque watercolor on paper | 10 x 13 inches postcard | 4 x 6 inches
A rtwor k L e n der s Chouinard Foundation; Diane Muldrow, editorial
Krauss, copyright 1951, copyright renewed 1979
Craig and Gisele Barto (photo courtesy of by Random House); 136137 (Babys House by director, Golden Books/Random House; Brian 50 Pam Burns-Clair Gelolo McHugh, copyright 1950, copyright and Pam Bliss; Rudy and Debbie Lord; Joanna
Family: 103105 Jeanne Chamberlain (The renewed 1978 by Random House); 138141 (The Miller; Don Hahn; Craig and Gigi Barto; Eric
Estate of Mary Blair): 161 (top left, middle, and Golden Book of Little Verses by Miriam Clark and Susan Goldberg; Fred Cline; Joe and Leah
bottom right) Jeanne Chamberlain and Maggie Potter, copyright 1953, copyright renewed 1981 Carroll; Mike Gabriel; Ron Lytle; Stuart Ng;
Richardson (The Estate of Mary Blair): 8, 16 (all by Random House); 142147 (The Up and Down Mark Weissman; James Tim Walker; Mike Glad;
Published by The Walt Disney Family but bottom center and bottom right), 17 (top Book, copyright 1964, copyright renewed 1992 and Pam Burns-Clair.
Foundation Press, LLC. right and bottom right) 20, 3536, 46, 53, 7375, by Random House); 148149 (The New Golden I am especially grateful to Maggie Richardson
104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio 150159, 170171, 175 Collection of Brian Bliss Songbook, copyright 1955, copyright renewed 1983 and Jeanne Chamberlain, the artists devoted
San Francisco, CA 94129 (photo courtesy of 51 by Random House) Unknown: 11 (bottom) nieces, for their enthusiastic contributions of
California Institute of the Arts Institute Archive: additional loans of rare artworks and artifacts,
No part of this book may be reproduced or 11 (top) John Canemaker: 55 Carroll Family and patient replies to my constant questions.
A c k n owled g me n t s
transmitted in any form or by any means, Collection (photo courtesy of californiawatercolor. For various kindnesses extended to me
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, com): 14, 49 Fred Cline: 12, 4243 Alice Davis: Diane Disney Miller, to whom I dedicate this cat- during the course of my work, I express warm
recording, by any information storage and 172173 Mike and Jeanne Glad: 17 (top right) alog, originally proposed a Mary Blair exhibition thanks to Rolly Crump; Alice Davis; Ross Care;
retrieval system, or by any other means, without Mike and Tammy Gabriel: 72 The Goldberg for the Walt Disney Family Museum and offered Neil Grauer; Michael Giaimo; Charles Solomon;
written permission from the publisher. Collection: 4445 The Don Hahn Collection: me the exciting challenge of being its curator. Michael Barrier; J. B. Kaufman; Russell and
25, 8081 Rudy and Debbie Lord: 40 Ron Diane was always a positive leader and creative Karen Merritt; Karal Ann Marling; Leonard
A production Lytle: 48 Gift of Ron and Diane Miller: 26, 28, dynamo. I miss her and regret that she did not S. Marcus; Ted Thomas and Kuniko Okubo
President, CEO Terry Newell 54, 62 (right), 85, 92, 9495, 97, 100 (right), live to see the exhibition realized. Thomas; Dan Shefelman, assistant professor
VP, Sales Amy Kaneko 111113, 115117, 122 (left), 124125, 127129, 166 I am grateful for the solid support and FIT; Karen Trivette Cannell, MLS, asstistant
VP, Publisher Roger Shaw (left) Joanna Miller: 100 (left) Gift of Walter encouragement given to me from the beginning professor Head of Special Collections and FIT
Creative Director Kelly Booth E. D. Miller: 87 Collection of Stuart Ng: 47 by Ron Miller, Dianes husband, and the Walt Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology
Senior Editor Lucie Parker (right) Museum of American Illustration at Disney Family Foundation. SUNY; Karl and Denise Cohen; Kendall Haney;
Art Director Lorraine Rath the Society of Illustrators: 11 (bottom) Random At the Walt Disney Family Museum, I have and Sheila M. Saxby.
176 Designer Debbie Berne House LLC: 2, 33 (left and center), 132, 134145, been most fortunate to work with a wonder- At Weldon Owen Publishing, it was a distinct
Image Coordinator Conor Buckley 148149 Maggie Richardson (The Estate of Mary ful and dedicated team, including Kirsten pleasure to work with the superb team of Lucie
Production Director Chris Hemesath Blair): 161 (bottom left and top right) James Tim Komoroske, executive director; Brenda Litzinger, Parker, senior lifestyle editor; Kelly Booth,
Associate Production Director Michelle Duggan Walker: 52 Walt Disney Family Foundation: 4, 6, registrar; Mary Beth Culler, public programs creative director; Roger Shaw, vice-president
16 (bottom center), 19, 21, 22, 27, 30, 33 (right), manager; John Stroh, manager of Audio-Visual; and publisher; Lorraine Rath, art director; and
Weldon Owen is a division of BONNIER 34, 60, 62 (left), 6371, 7678, 8284, 86, 8891, Hillary Lyden, interpretive coordinator; Caitlin the creative book designer Debbie Berne. 93, 96, 9899, 101102, 106110, 114, 118121, Moneypenny-Johnston, marketing and commu- Thanks to Robert Cornfield, for his cogent
122 (right), 123 (right), 146147, 160 (top), 162 nications manager; and Mark Gibson, digital advice, as always. On the home front, I want to
All rights reserved, including the right of 163, 165, 166 (right), 167169 The Walt Disney assets manager. thank my husband, Joseph Kennedy, for his
reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Company: 16 (bottom right), 17 (left top and It was a pleasure to work closely with the positive suggestions and all-enabling love.
bottom), 18 Mark and Lily Weissman: 47 (left) indispensable and knowledgeable Michael
Copyright 2014 The Walt Disney Family Labrie, director of collections and exhibitions, Weldon Owen would like to thank Emily Clark,
Foundation Press, LLC. and the gifted Marina Villar Delgado, exhibition Hilary Seeley, and Marisa Sols for editorial
A rtwor k C o p yri g ht H older s
and design manager, who designed a setting for assistance; Rachel Lopez Metzger for design
The Walt Disney Family Foundation Press is All images are The Estate of Mary Blair except Mary Blairs art that is at once playful and expertise; and John Lee/Artmix for original
not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company where noted below. serene. photography.
or Disney Enterprises, Inc. A majority of Mary Blair concept paintings
Disney: 4, 15, 16 (center top and bottom, right made for Disney films and several personal
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013957560 bottom), 17 (top left and bottom left), 1822, artifacts in the exhibition are from the collection
2428, 3031, 34, 36, 5457, 6072, 74129, of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. This
ISBN: 978-1-61628-793-1 155 (bottom row and top row center left), 160, extensive artwork of the WDFF has been aug-
ISBN: 1-61628-793-4 165171 Random House LLC: 2 (The New Golden mented and additional light shed on Mary Blairs
Songbook, copyright 1955, copyright renewed eclectic career through the generosity of several
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1983 by Random House); 33 (The Up and Down outside lenders, including:
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Book, copyright 1964, copyright renewed 1992 Richard J. Berenson, Society of Illustrators;
Printed in China by Toppan Leefung. by Random House); 132135 (I Can Fly by Ruth Michael Johnson Fine Arts; Dave Tourje,

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