Friday, October 21, 2011
Mary Blair 100th Birthday Anniversary Tribute
In honor of what would have been Mary Blair's (1911-1978) 100th Birthday, today's post will be a photo tribute to some of her most beloved work in the Disney theme parks. Currently, the Disney Gallery in Disneyland's Town Square is featuring an exhibit that showcases Blair's work, including this concept painting for "Cinderella" which depicts the transformation of a pumpkin into a coach. It would have been interesting to see "Cinderella" and "Alice in Wonderland" completely rendered in the Blair style.
Blair left the Disney Studios in the 1950s to do freelance, but was called by Walt himself in 1963 to work with Imagineers on "it's a small world." This is probably her best known work, and one of the few Disney projects that retained the look and feel of Blair's style.
Blair also designed two large murals for the Disney company; one that was featured in the Disneyland New Tomorrowland makeover of 1967, and another that was created for the Contemporary Hotel in Orlando, Florida, pictured here:
Although it didn't really seem to fit thematically into Tomorrowland, Blair's murals near the entrance were truly a spectacular piece of art:
Sadly, they were covered up in a later Tomorrowland remodel and most likely suffered quite a bit of damage in the process. Here's the bland mural that replaced it; something tells me that there won't be a celebration for the replacements in another 100 years:
One of my readers sent me this extremely sad link; I'd like to think that this type of destruction wouldn't happen today, however, just look across the way to the DCA tile murals. They are now toast as well:
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