New Program Announced at Walt Disney Family Museum – Tales of Ghoulish Delight: Creating the Haunted Mansion

Walt Disney first announced his plans to add a haunted house-style attraction to Disneyland in 1958, but the Haunted Mansion didn’t open until a full eleven years later. It is believed to be the last attraction Walt had a hand in before his death in 1966. But, what happened in between conception and the Mansion’s opening in 1969? Take a look at the evolution of the attraction under Walt’s tutelage from a scare-a-minute walk-through to the creepy but comical Doom Buggy ride we all know and love. Join Imagineer Kim Irvine, Walt Disney Company alum Ed Squair, and Winchester Mystery House General Manager Walter Magnuson for a discussion on Walt’s influence on this adored attraction and the three scripts developed by his original “Illusioneers”:  Ken Anderson, Marc Davis and X. Atencio.

Disneyland-Haunted-MansionSat, Oct 15
Two times: 11am–12:30pm & 3–4:30pm
These two presentations will be identical.
$18 members | $12 student & youth members
$20 non-members | $15 student & youth non-members
Ticket On-Sale Date and Time
Tickets will be on sale to the public beginning Thursday, September 22 at 10am online.

Walt’s Circle donors and Supporter-level members may purchase program tickets for this program beginning Monday, September 19 at 10am. All other members may purchase program tickets for this program beginning Wednesday, September 21 at 10am.

The Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Website

Walt Disney Family Museum Logo

The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to announce a completely reimagined website at waltdisney.org, launching in celebration of Walt Disney’s birthday.

The museum’s Board and staff have collaborated with the Presidio-based agency Swirl, Inc. to bring you a vastly enhanced website experience. The site includes many new features, including an innovative multimedia section on Walt Disney, and showcases an enticing virtual preview of the museum’s galleries. The website provides content-rich, interactive resources for students, historians, and Disney fans around the world. Viewers can visit the site to learn more about Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller, and their family legacy, and discover their own creative inspiration in Walt Disney’s story.

Please, come take a look—explore, discover, imagine, and find inspiration at the new waltdisney.org. Continue the celebration of Walt’s birthday at the museum, offering free admission to all on the eve of Walt’s birthday, Friday, December 4. Limited capacity; tickets issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional paid exhibition ticket required for Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination.

If you don’t see the new website right away, please clear your browser’s cache. Some systems may take up to 48-hours to show the new website.

The Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Program

Floyd Norman

The Making of Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

Join filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey—in conversation with Disney Legend, animator, and story artist Floyd Norman—as they debut clips from their feature-length documentary film following the incredible life and career of the Disney Legend.

Tickets:
$18 members | $20 non-members | $12 student & youth members | $15 student & youth non-members

DATE:

Sat, January 16


TIME:

1–3:30 pm

Location Theater

A Birthday Celebration for Walt at The Walt Disney Family Museum

Walt - DL - Castle

In observance of Walt Disney’s birthday, The Walt Disney Family Museum will be commemorating the day before with FREE ADMISSION to all on Friday, December 4 from 10am to 6pm! Join us in celebrating this special occasion, during which we will host a number of exciting activities throughout the day that highlight Walt’s life, work, and legacy. Happy Birthday, Walt!

DATE:

Fri, Dec 4


TIME:

10am–6pm

Location All Museum
FREE ALL DAY!

Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell Coming to Walt Disney Family Museum

George Hurrell - WDFM

February 11–June 29, 2015

Located in the Theater Gallery

Step behind the lens and take a peek into the lights, camera, and glamour of the golden age of Hollywood with the newest exhibition from The Walt Disney Family Museum. Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell brings together a selection of rare, vintage prints from George Edward Hurrell (1904–1992)—one of America’s finest photographers whose professional career had a worldwide impact that continues to this day.

Hurrell is credited with creating the standard for the idealized Hollywood glamour portrait. Always an innovator, he invented the boom light and developed several—now standard—lighting techniques. Hurrell’s signature use of precision lighting, spotlights, shadows, and hand-retouching on the negatives produced romantic portraits that became his trademark style and the definition of glamour for the movie industry. This influential look became known as “Hurrell style.”

Classically trained as a painter, Hurrell employed fine art techniques in his compositions. Beginning in 1930, Hurrell worked as a portrait photographer for most of the major Hollywood motion picture studios, first with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While most of the country suffered during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the movie industry thrived. During this time especially, Hurrell’s photographs did more than just promote a film or a celebrity; for many, the glamour, romance, and drama of these photos provided a momentary mental escape from difficult times.

In the 1940s, Hurrell married Walt Disney’s niece, Phyllis Bounds, and they had three children. The Hurrell’s founded a television production studio—Hurrell Productions—in the 1950s, which was housed on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. Though this company was independent from the Studios, its location on the lot made it possible for employees to work for both Hurrell Productions and The Walt Disney Studios. Disney animators and staff were employed to create animated television commercials, featuring some of the most iconic and memorable mascots of the 1950s, including Bucky Beaver for Ipana Toothpaste and the original Cheerios Kid. Notably, Walt’s younger daughter, Sharon, was employed as the assistant to her cousin, Phyllis Hurrell, and was personally delivered each morning to the door of the Hurrell Productions offices by her father.

Guest curated by Dr. Louis F. D’Elia, Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell is comprised of prints that have been selected from the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive: a collection of Hurrell photography that is arguably the best in the world in both breadth and quality. Pancho Barnes (1901–1975) was an adventuress, pioneering female aviatrix, and a close friend and early patron of Hurrell. She encouraged and helped start his successful Hollywood career.

This exhibition features more than 50 prints and objects—some of which have never been published and several of which have not been seen in more than 80 years. Lights! Camera! Glamour! highlights Hurrell’s impact as a photographer and the achievements of his unique and extraordinary eight-decade career.

Lights! Camera! Glamour! The Photography of George Hurrell is produced by The Walt Disney Family Museum.

All Aboard! Celebrate Walt’s Trains with Museum Exhibit

Walt Disney Trains

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, on view from November 13, 2014 through February 9, 2015. This comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world. with more than 200 artifacts, firsthand accounts, archival videos, images of Walt and his trains, and actual model trains running throughout the show, All Aboard highlights Walt’s early passion for trains and how it manifested itself in Disney short cartoons, feature films, and in Walt’s personal life at home.

Guest curator Michael Campbell, president of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, constructed the exhibition to reflect Walt’s railroad journey as told through multiple chapters: Lighting the Fire, Building Steam, Gaining Speed, Full Throttle, Switching Tracks, Branching Out, A Grand Circle Tour Around The World, and Coming Full Circle. The exhibition’s conclusion reminds us that, even over a century later, Walt’s railroading influence remains as a vibrant and relevant force.

Members enjoy an exclusive viewing of the exhibition on Wednesday, November 12. Walt’s Circle donors and Friend and Supporter members will be invited to our VIP opening reception on Tuesday, November 11. Become a member today to access these exclusive benefits.

Adventures by Disney Announces New Destinations for 2015

ABD - SF

Adventures by Disney is proud to enhance its group-guided vacation portfolio with the unveiling of three new itineraries for 2015.

Introducing one of the most adventurous trips to date, Adventures by Disney is taking families into the deep paths of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This 12-day, 11-night adventure guides guests through the Amazon and Galapagos Islands to discover the most untouched, bio-diverse areas of the world. Guests can enjoy hands-on cooking classes with local chefs, immersive activities with the local community and an exploration of the historic colonial city Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among many other venturesome activities.

Also debuting in 2015 is the all-new four-day, three-night long weekends trips, initially featuring getaways to New York City and San Francisco & Napa. The New York City trip is a dazzling tour including a behind-the-scenes visit to Good Morning America, a hands-on Broadway musical dance workshop, an interactive motor-coach ride to see some of the most iconic sites of the city and plenty of other special activities.

The San Francisco & Napa getaway will whisk guests to the City by the Bay and the lush, relaxing vineyards of Napa Valley. A privately guided tour of the Walt Disney Family Museum, a visit to the Letterman Digital Arts Center (campus of Lucasfilm), a stroll through the Muir Woods National Monument and an excursion to the Silverado Vineyards are just a few of the highlights of this trip.

Bookings for the new 2015 itineraries start today. For more details on each of these exciting trips, or any Adventures by Disney itineraries from around the globe, please visit AdventuresByDisney.com or call 1-866-543-0865.

Walt Disney Family Museum Presents – Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis

Marc Davis - Malificent

The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to present the exhibition Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis. On view in the museum’s Theater Gallery from April 30 to November 3, 2014, this exhibition co-curated by the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, Michael Labrie, and animator Andreas Deja spotlights some 70 original pencil animation drawings, conceptual artwork, paintings, cels, and photographs from animator and Imagineer Marc Davis (1913–2000). Davis, who was named a Disney Legend in 1989, was assigned and executed some of the most difficult animation for Walt Disney’s leading ladies and femmes fatales from classics such as Peter Pan(1953), Sleeping Beauty (1956), and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). It was Davis’ mastery of the human form and authority on anatomy and movement that brought these iconic female characters to life and made them believable.

Although his work and accomplishments could fill a much larger gallery, selected artworks mainly from Davis’ personal collection, Walt Disney Imagineering, several private collectors, and the Walt Disney Family Foundation’s collection, intend to focus on a part of Davis’ life and career with his mastery of the human form. Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales highlights Davis’ female characters in film—such as Peter Pan’s Tinker Bell, Sleeping Beauty’s title heroine Aurora, its villain Maleficent, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ Cruella de Vil—as well as in live entertainment, his fine art, and through his beloved wife Alice Davis.

“If you can’t draw it, you can’t animate it,” Marc Davis once told an interviewer. He was proud of his drawing ability and had all the reasons for being so. Basically a self-taught artist, he honed his skills through a lonely childhood, and from his life experience he developed a keen sense of observation and ultimately became an excellent draftsman. Davis’ gift for dramatic storytelling coupled with his ability to inject humanity, humor, and emotion into his drawings is what made him stand out.

Marc Davis - Haunted Mansion

“Marc can do story, he can do character, he can animate, he can design shows for me. All I have to do is tell him what I want and it’s there. He’s my Renaissance Man,” said Walt Disney of Davis.

Davis’ sense of style and ability commanded admiration and respect. Employed at The Walt Disney Studio for forty-three years, Marc Davis was a master whose skills proved essential to a wide variety of projects both in film and live entertainment. As one of Walt’s renowned “Nine Old Men,” Davis was the only of the nine whom Walt asked to help in the planning of attractions at Disneyland the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair. His creative contributions include attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbeanit’s a small world, and the Haunted Mansion, to name a few.

“Marc Davis became the most prolific Imagineer of his time in developing ideas and drawings for Disney Park attractions. There is a treasury of some of the world’s best-known and most humorous characters,” said Disney Legend and Imagineer Marty Sklar.

In 1947, Alice Estes—a promising artist from Long Beach, California—received a scholarship to the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute—a training ground for many Disney artists. With Alice’s goals of becoming an animator crushed because of the male-dominance in the field at that time, Mrs. Chouinard herself assigned Alice to become a costume designer, and gave her the added task of assisting the new animation teacher, Marc Davis.

Marc Davis:Alice Davis

After her graduation, Alice married Davis, eventually working with him at The Walt Disney Studios and becoming one of the first female Imagineers. She designed costumes for a number of Disneyland attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Carousel of Progress—many based on her husband’s whimsical drawings.

Both Alice and Marc worked with a team of Disney artists and engineers to design and dress the Audio-Animatronics® figures for it’s a small world, including famed artist Mary Blair, one of Walt’s most recognizable leading ladies.

The exhibition is aptly timed with MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair, on view from March 13 through September 7, 2014 in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall.

Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.

HOURS

10am to 6pm, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

TICKETS:

$20 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 children ages 6 to 17.
Admission is free for members.
Admission to this exhibition is free with paid museum admission or for members.

WHERE:

The Presidio of San Francisco, 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129

CONTACT:

415-345-6800

Walt Disney Family Museum Presents – MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: The World of Mary Blair

WDFM-MaryBlair

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair. On view from March 13 to September 7, 2014, this comprehensive exhibition explores the artistic process and development of one of Walt Disney’s most original, beloved, and influential designer and art directors, Mary Blair (1911–1978). Blair’s joyful creativity―her eye-appealing designs and exuberant color palette―endure in numerous media, including classic Disney animated films, such as CinderellaAlice in Wonderland, andPeter Pan, and theme park attractions at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, most notably “it’s a small world.”

Guest curator John Canemaker—an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher and author—organized the exhibition to reflect the arc of Blair’s career before, during, and after her years at the Walt Disney Studios through artwork, artifacts, photographs, and videos.

MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair features some 200 works and explores all phases of Blair’s work by examining her artistic development in three major areas: “Learning the Rules”—her student days at Los Angeles’ legendary Chouinard School of Art, and her fine art regionalist watercolors exhibited in the 1930s. “Breaking the Rules”—her artistic breakthrough with boldly colored, stylized concept paintings for classic Disney animated features during the 1940s and 1950s, including Saludos Amigos (1942) and Peter Pan (1953); and “Creating New Worlds”—freelancing in the 1950s in New York where she became a popular illustrator for national advertisements, magazine articles, clothing designs, window displays, theatrical sets, and children’s books.

The exhibition includes Blair’s rarely exhibited student art, which was influenced by the illustrations of her mentor Pruett Carter, and her mid-to-late artworks from the 1930s as a member of the innovative California Water-Color Society which reveal an essential humanism and empathy for her subjects. The exhibition also showcases The Walt Disney Family Museum’s extensive collection of Blair’s conceptual artworks in gouache and watercolor—some of which have never displayed outside The Walt Disney Studios—that reveal the artist’s inexhaustible creativity in design, staging of imagery, visual appeal, and unique color sensibility. Also featured are original illustrations from several of Blair’s beloved Golden Books including I Can Fly (1951).

An imaginative colorist and designer, Blair helped introduce a modernist style to Walt Disney and his studio, and for nearly 30 years, he touted her inspirational work for his films and theme parks alike. Animator Marc Davis, who put Blair’s exciting use of color on a par with Henri Matisse, recalled, “She brought modern art to Walt in a way that no one else did. He was so excited about her work.”

Mary Blair

In the mid-1960s, Walt brought her talents to a spectacular new phase by commissioning her to design large-scale, three-dimensional projects for his theme park attractions, using Audio-animatronic characters, wall murals and tile décor.

Walt played a significant role in Blair’s creative growth. His overall vision of the world and values (optimism, humor, love of tradition, families, and an avid interest in technology) were interpreted and complimented by her creative contributions. He continually championed her in his male-dominated studio giving her free rein to explore concepts, colors, characters, and designs that were definitely out of The Walt Disney Studios’ mainstream animation style.

Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1911, Blair won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. After graduation in 1933, at the height of the Depression, she 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, including the never-produced “Baby Ballet,” part of a proposed second version of Fantasia.

In 1941, she joined the Disney expedition that toured Mexico and South America for three months and painted watercolors that inspired Walt to name her as an art supervisor on The Three Caballeros andSaludos Amigos. Blair’s striking use of color and stylized graphics greatly influenced many Disney postwar productions, including Alice in WonderlandSong of the South, Make Mine Music, Melody Time, So Dear to My Heart, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, and Peter Pan.

In 1964, Walt asked Blair to assist in the design of the “it’s a small world” attraction. Over the years, she brought her many artistic gifts to numerous exhibits, attractions, and murals at the theme parks in California and Florida, including the fanciful murals in the Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort. Blair died July 26, 1978, in Soquel, California.

Thirty-five years after her death, interest in Mary Blair and her enchanting artworks continues to grow. Her early fine art watercolors and classic Disney film production concept paintings are popular with collectors. Contemporary artists still find inspiration in her independent spirit, and her ability to survive in traditionally male-dominated fields, her technical virtuosity, bottomless creative ingenuity, and powerful visual storytelling.