Animation found at The Haggin Museum

The Haggin Museum in Stockton, California is hosting an “animation family day at the museum” this month. To augment the activities, their archive pulled some untitled animation drawings in their collection for display — and wanted to find out more about them. They contacted me through my Cartoon Research website and I was able to identify much of the material (click thumbnail samples above).

Apparently the museum is possession of a cache of original pencil animation for a series of 1937 Columbia Screen Gems cartoons. Artwork above is from the shorts (left to right): I Want To Be An Actress (a Scrappy cartoon), Spring Festival (a Color Rhapsody) and The Masque Raid (a Krazy Kat cartoon). And there’s material from other films as well.

About this find, curator Kimberly D. Bowden wrote:

“Until now they have been tucked away in the archive. The museum has about 40 drawings for each of the images I sent you and a few other series as well. My guess is that the drawings came to the museum during Earl Rowland’s directorship (1937-1963). He sought out illustrators and their relatives and requested paintings and sketches for the museum.

From this campaign we have comic artists, editorial cartoonists, and commercial artists. Our J. C. Leyendecker collection is currently touring the country. As interest in illustration art continues to grow, I am able to share more of the museum’s hidden treasures with the public. These are the only animation drawings I have come across as yet and I am so pleased to be able to properly attribute them to Screen Gems studio. Thank you solving this long-standing mystery!”

Attached is a little video the museum created to show kids how the animated drawings on display would become ‘animated’.

If you find yourself in northern California this month, it might be a good idea to check out The Haggin Museum at 1201 N. Pershing Avenue in Stockton.


  • Steve Stanchfield

    How cool to see a Columbia Pencil test!

    That scene looks like Art Davis’ stuff (especially in key drawings 96, 102, 110) though he was usually in the Scrappy unit by that time….

  • Mintz Meat

    I’ll have to take another look at the post ’35 Mintz as I don’t recall Davis working on a Scrappy after ’35 (‘The Masque Raid’ and ‘I Want to be an Actress’ are from ’37). Those late period Mintz’s are kind of a mealy lot (the early cartoons are far stronger) but occasionally could still muster some inventive energy such as ‘Scrappy’s Trip to Mars’ (1938) and ‘Puttin’ Out The Kitten’ (also Scrappy, 1937).