Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Mary Blair Centennial

October 21, 2011, marked the centennial of the birth of a true Disney Legend, artist Mary Blair.

Blair's influential work has played a significant role in Disney films, theme parks, and resorts. Her art has also appeared in memorable children's picture books which have stood the test of time.

This week's tributes to Blair included yesterday's "Google Doodle"...

...and a celebration on Thursday evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences titled "Mary Blair's World of Color: A Centennial Tribute."

The Academy website has video of the tribute, as well as a list of the prominent animators who participated; those honoring Blair included Pete Docter, the director of UP (2009), and Michael Giaimo, the art director of POCAHONTAS (1995).

Susan King wrote an article on Blair in last Monday's Los Angeles Times, and another article appeared in yesterday's Times.

Thanks to Google, my SiteMeter was spinning yesterday with visitors to my May photo post on Disneyland's exhibit "The Colors of Mary Blair."

My post on the Magic of Mary Blair website also received many visits.

Mary Blair's work can be seen in such films as SALUDOS AMIGOS (1942), THE THREE CABALLEROS (1944), MAKE MINE MUSIC (1946), SO DEAR TO MY HEART (1948), THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949), CINDERELLA (1950), ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951), and PETER PAN (1953).

Blair also codesigned It's a Small World and created the beautiful tile murals on the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney World's Contemporary Resort.

Chris Gaylord of the Christian Science Monitor wrote a good article this week on "Mary Blair: How She Changed Disney Forever."

The excellent documentary WALT AND EL GRUPO (2008) chronicles the South American trip undertaken by Walt Disney, Mary and Lee Blair, and other animators, a journey which significantly impacted Blair's future work. It can be seen on DVD and Netflix Watch Instantly.

THE ART AND FLAIR OF MARY BLAIR, by animation historian John Canemaker, is a "must read" for those who are interested in learning more about Blair's life and art.

Visit True Classics for a terrific tribute posted today by Brandie.

More Blair-related posts: In Disney News...; New Music: Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair; Today at Disneyland: It's a Small World; Disneyland's Renovated Small World Opens Friday; Coming to DVD: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944); New Book: Walt Disney's Cinderella.


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