Saturday, May 16, 2009


I love it when I am able to upgrade and improve the quality of the photos on my site. Recently, I was able to get not only a clearer version (albeit slightly different pose)of Walt with the Peter Ellenshaw painted map of Disneyland, but in color.

It really is amazing just how much of this map finally got into the park. The circus tent changed locations (seen in the lower right-hand corner), and it took about 7 years for the a hot air balloon to come to the park, but otherwise, pretty much spot-on!

Here is a photo of Ellenshaw himself working on this map before Walt displayed it publicly. Note the storyboard panels tacked on the wall beneath the painting; it appears they are for the Disneyland TV Show.

See more vintage & current Disneyland Construction photos at my regular website.


Thufer said...

wow, Peter Ellenshaw!

Major Pepperidge said...

I still think that the Peter Ellenshaw photo is one of the most amazing pictures in your collection. It's almost like having a photo of Leonardo painting the "Mona Lisa" !! (I have one of those, by the way)

Kevin Kidney said...

An interesting story about this painting. Of course it's considered a priceless treasure of Disney art and an integral piece of Disneyland history, but it was almost lost forever.

Around 1983 or 84, a couple of art directors I used to work with at Disneyland were setting up some kind of special event at the Disney Studio up in Burbank. While on lunch, they went off to explore the old backlot area which, at the time, still had all the familiar film and television set facades used for many decades. The old adobe-style structures for the "Zorro" TV series were still standing, and the guys went poking around inside one of them.

There, leaning against a wall, on the dirt floor with a packing blanket half draped over it, was the Ellenshaw painting. Presumably because of its large size, it had been tucked back there with other clutter to get it of the way, and had been forgotten about for quite a long time.

After telling some folks back at Disneyland about it, it was rescued and brought indoors. There was light water damage to a portion of the painted surface, which was later touched up for public display in the new Disney Gallery in the late 80s.

Thankfully it survived and today everyone recognizes it as the irreplaceable gem that it is. When I see pictures of the painting, I can't help but think of this story.