Monday, October 24, 2011

Mary Blair: an Eternal Little Girl

Full name:                                          Mary Robinson

Birth:                                                    October 21, 1911

Place of Birth:                                   McAlester, Oklahoma

Death:                                                 July 26, 1978

Place of Death:                                Soquel, California

                An imaginative color stylist and designer, Mary Blair helped introduce modern art to Walt Disney and his Studio, and for nearly 30 years, he touted her inspirational work for his films and theme parks alike. Walt connected with Mary's fresh, childlike art style. As Disney Imagineering artist Roland Crump once told animation historian John Canemaker, "The way she (Mary) painted - in a lot of ways she was still a little girl. Walt was like that... You could see he could relate to children - she was the same way."
                The inherently gifted artist won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. After graduation in 1933, at the height of the Depression, Mary took a job in the animation unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) rather than pursue her dream of a fine arts career. In 1940, she joined The Walt Disney Studios and worked on a number of projects such as "The Three Caballeros" and "Saludos Amigos." Mary's unique color and styling greatly influenced such Disney postwar productions as "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Peter Pan."
                From 1964-65, Mary Blair participated in the design of It’s a small world attraction, for the New York World’s Fair.
                Mary Blair died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 26, 1978.

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