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Mary Blair [chat]
Blameless Cleric An angel made of sapphires each more flawlessly cut than the last Registered User, Arrayregular
Her vibrant colors and stylized designs pervade Disney animated films from 1943 to 1953 (such as THE THREE CABALLEROS, CINDERELLA, ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND PETER PAN). A prolific artist, during the 1950’s and 60’s she brought eye-appealing flair to children’s books (I CAN FLY), advertisements, theatrical set designs, and large-scale theme park murals and attractions (such as Disneyland’s IT’S A SMALL WORLD).
Mary Robinson Blair trained at the Chouinard Art Institute of Los Angeles during the Depression, and, with her husband Lee, was a member of the important California regionalist school of watercolor of the 1930s. Beneath her deceptively simple style, lies enormous visual sophistication and craftsmanship in everything from color choices to composition.
Though much of her art veers away from naturalism toward abstraction, she was one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists; he personally responded to her use of color, naïve graphics, and the storytelling aspect in her pictures, especially the underlying emotions palpable in much of her art.
It would be difficult for anyone not to enjoy the witty, utterly charming art of Mary Blair, a dazzling and prolific sorceress of color and form. She saw the world in a fresh, new way and brought a special childlike beauty and gaiety to the works of print, theme parks and movies.
Mary Blair was a concept artist, character designer, and animator who worked for The Walt Disney Company on and off from 1940 through 1964, and a personal friend of Walt himself. Her art is strikingly whimsical and expressive. I can’t emphasize enough the extent of her influence on artists and animators, especially at Disney, and I feel like any attempt to praise/explain her work could never do it justice, so here are some examples. If you ever come across an exhibit of Blair’s work, definitely check it out! Some of these pieces are huge in person.