Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Walt Disney Family Museum, Pt. 2

Today's post takes you over to the main building of the Walt Disney Family Museum. Many (including myself) raised a big question mark when the Museum's location was announced as San Francisco, but after seeing it in person, I cannot imagine a more lovely setting. With a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and a long front porch with plenty of seating, the building is extremely warm and inviting.

One of the first things you see inside is a section with furnishings from Walt's Disneyland Apartment.

Many of these original pieces can be seen in the famous photo from National Geographic:

According to the accompanying text from daughter Diane: "Dad and Mother spent many weekends in the apartment, often with some of their grandchildren. They decorated it in the Victorian style they both knew and loved."

I was most astounded by the abundance of things to see here; and not once did I feel like the museum was "padded" to fill up space. Every item on display was a revelation, rich in the history of Walt Disney. Here is his Certificate of Baptism:

An original signed cartoon by Walt himself:

A shot of young Walt using his camera to make a movie:

Lo and behold, the camera itself:

Throughout the museum, Walt's actual voice told much of his story by piecing together vintage interviews. This treasured piece of paper was Walt and Lillian's Certificate of Marriage. What I loved most about the museum was that it successfully intertwined Walt's personal life with his professional achievements, thus fleshing out a real person.

A cleanup animation drawing by Dick Huemer for the Silly Symphony "The Goddess of Spring" (1934):

A menu from the Studio Restaurant:

Note that in the steaks/chops section, the time it takes to cook some of the items is listed. Perhaps to help those on the time clock make a better decision?

A few items from "Pinocchio":

A reproduction of an Animator's Desk, based on the design by Kem Weber for the Burbank Studio.

The multiplane camera that gave so much depth to early Disney animation:

A few photos of Walt with Salvador Dali:

Concept art for "Night on Bald Mountain, Fantasia" (1940) by Kay Nielsen. So much of this concept art could stand on its own in a gallery. It is breathtaking, and often even more powerful than what reached the screen.

There was even a section on the infamous strike at the Disney Studio. In the accompanying text came this quote from concept artist Joe Grant: "I think Walt was a fair man; he would have done most of the stuff they were fighting for, but they didn't give him a chance."

A gorgeous watercolor by Mary Blair:

Her concept art for "Cinderella" (1950):

and "Peter Pan" (1953):

Even Disney's artists did their part to keep the servicemen's "morale" up:

David Hall's 1939 concept art when "Alice in Wonderland" was in its earliest stage of development. Just a tad bit freaky!

Tomorrow: Disneyland!

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K. Martinez said...

No more excuses. I'm motivated, thanks to your WDFM posts. I'll definitely be heading up there in two weeks to see it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I don't get it. This museum is in San Francisco? Are you sure about that? I know for a fact that Disneyland is in Anaheim and that's nowhere near San Francisco. Is that a typo and did you mean to write Santa Barbara or something?

Davelandweb said...

Anonymous - Unless the Golden Gate Bridge is in Anaheim too, I stand by my post.

Major Pepperidge said...

Dave, are you absolutely SURE that it is in San Francisco? ;-)

I remember when that beautiful Gustaf Tenggren painting (of Geppetto carrying the lifeless body of Pinocchio out of the ocean) sold at a Howard Lowery auction for over $60,000 (I still have the catalog). I guess Diane Disney was the winning bidder!