A Disney Exhibit is Coming to the MET in New York City
We’ve got some exciting news for art aficionados and Disney fans alike. Disney has just announced that they will be the subject of a NEW exhibit at New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art!
Opening on December 10, 2021 and continuing through March of 2022 Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts will highlight a connection between the magical creations coming out of Disney Studios with Walt’s personal fascination with European Art.
The exhibition will feature over 150 production artworks and work on paper from Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Family Museum.
These items will stand proudly alongside 40 works of 18th Century European decorative arts. This includes tapestry, furniture, Boulle Clocks, Severes porcelain and more.
The exhibit will also look at the technological and artistic advances of the studio during Walt Disney’s lifetime and beyond whilst shining a light on references to European culture found in many Disney classics. Great examples are medieval influences in Sleeping Beauty and Gothic Revival in Cinderella.
Stunning examples of Rococo-inspired objects can also be found in both the animation and live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.
Sections of the exhibition will explore Walt’s strong connection to France including his encounters with European art and architecture. It’s these visits that would heavily influence the films that Disney made throughout his life. Visitors will even be treated to exclusive footage of Walt and his family visiting Versailles.
Disney insiders are sure to love the section dubbed “Animating the Inanimate” which will feature French and German Rococo porcelain figures alongside sketches from Silly Symphonies – The Clock Store and The China Shop.
There will also be a section focused on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with particular attention to the vultures. Walt Disney actually gifted the Met with a gouache on celluloid depicting this ominous duo.
The Cinderella section will focus on the female artists who’s influence can be seen in the film including Bianca Majolie and Mary Blair.
It was Blair’s work in the 40s and 50s that was a driving force behind the aesthetic of Disney’s films.
Another artist that really informed Disney’s style was Eyvind Earle who worked on Sleeping Beauty. He was influenced by The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries from the Met’s Cloisters Collection when coming up with style of the film.
The 30th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast will also be celebrated. The largest section of the MET exhibit will be devoted to this film. This includes explorations of anthropomorphism and zoomorphism. Other topics include Disney’s satirical take on Rococo fashion and the inside of Beast’s castle
On display will be 18th Century clocks, candlesticks, and teapots that inspired Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs. Potts along with the way that Versailles inspired the films ballroom scene.
The final section of the display will focus on Disney architecture with the castles as its primary focus. We’ll look specifically at the influence that French and German architecture had on these buildings. An artifact you’ll want to see is the original concept art for Disneyland drawn by Herbert Ryman as supervised by Walt himself.
Wolf Buchard at the Met had this to say about the exhibit, “In mounting The Met’s first-ever exhibition devoted to Walt Disney and his studios’ oeuvre, it was important for us to explore his sources of inspiration as well as to recognize that his studio’s animated interpretations of European fairytales have become a lens through which many view Western art and culture today.”
Inspiring Walt Disney is organized in collaboration with The Wallace Collection in London, where the exhibition will open in spring 2022. To learn more about the the upcoming exhibition readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog and also check out The Met website.
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