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:

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more Mary Blair Tomorrowland Tile photos on my New Tomorrowland web page.


Darryl said...

See Google's main page for another tribute!

Davelandweb said...

Someone at Google is on the ball! Thanks for the heads-up.

tericson said...

The heck with the Redhead - We Wants The Murals!!! (back in Tomorrowland...)

Connie Moreno said...

Holy crap, I had heard that they murals were covered up. That video sure blows that out of the water!

SundayNight said...

Connie, it’s my belief that a good part of the murals exist in back of the current murals in Tomorrowland. See Marty Sklar’s comments on the Yesterland site. It's my hope that someday, perhaps when they re-do Tomorrowland again, they will remove the existing Mary Blair tiles and restore the missing ones so the world can enjoy them again.

Jason Phillip Reeser said...

Check out the youtube video after watching the one Dave posted, titled "Mary Blair Tiles". A great clip.
Thanks for the tribute here. A great job!

Stelle and Chelle said...

Oh geez. My heart hurts watching that video.

All in love, so enjoyed your tribute to Mary! A great weekend to celebrate her contributions, for sure! - Stelle