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!

See more Walt Disney Family Museum photos on my WD Family Museum web pages.


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?

Daveland 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!