Miniature portraits are marked by three different periods of relevancy. The first period was in the 16th century, when artists were inspired by the small drawings found within illuminated manuscripts. Miniature portraits were incredibly popular and fashionable at the time; portraits were commissioned by soldiers and their families to have during times of war. Royal miniature portraits also became famous under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
At The Walt Disney Family Museum, we have a dedicated team of Preparators that utilize creative ways to display artwork in our galleries and special exhibitions. Preparator Ryan Mortensen works primarily with 2D objects, creating custom displays for the public to enjoy our collection of animation artwork.
After years of making package features that compiled animated short subjects, Walt Disney’s artists knew that Cinderella, released 70 years ago in 1950, would be different. As a full-length fairy tale, it was more akin to the stories they’d told before World War II. But the film would have a twist on its predecessors.
“There is a nice philosophy in Cinderella’s attitude. She can teach the young – and others – how to take adversity.” – film critic Helen Bower, April 1950
This incredible abstract façade of “it’s a small world” by Mary Blair from 1964—displayed in our 2014 exhibition, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair—was made with an interesting combination of techniques and materials. It was constructed of cast plaster with mosaic-like design elements, which give us an insight to the many processes that Mary Blair used in her artwork.
The Walt Disney Family Museum’s collection of maquettes, or small character reference sculptures, spans various Disney animated feature productions including Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), and Peter Pan (1953). While most in our collection are painted plaster, there are a few exceptions—such as this The Ugly Duckling (1939) maquette—where surfaces have been left unpainted.
In 1942, Alexander P. de Seversky released his book Victory Through Air Power, in which he challenged the status quo of military doctrine with his argument that United States air power was weak, ineffective, and highly underdeveloped. He argued that military supremacy would be derived from air supremacy, and that the future of warfare rested on the development of a super fleet capable of strategic bombing or long-range air power.
“Ten years of fantasy, ten years of fun, ten years of growing, and we’ve only just begun…”
In its first decade of operation, Disneyland Park welcomed nearly 50 million guests, its attractions and shows multiplied, and its creator entertained increasingly bigger plans. The Park’s 10th anniversary in 1965—dubbed the “Tencennial Celebration”—proved a significant turning point in its history, as Walt Disney made sure it would.