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Golden Book Art at Disneyland


It’s rare for this website to promote a visit to Disneyland twice within the same week, but we’ve just recieved word from artist Kevin Kidney that, in addition to the Pirates of The Caribbean art exhibit (which Kevin is a part of), the park quietly opened a new exhibit in the Disney Gallery (above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction) showcasing many of the great Disney Western Publishing book illustrations from the 1950s and 60s. The original paintings on display are among the cream of the crop of Disney book illustration–of any time–with so many of these images permanently ingrained in our memory from childhood. Kevin says:

Viewing these in person is a real treat. The artists represented include John Hench, Al Dempster, Retta Scott Worcester, Campbell Grant, Al White, Dick Kelsey, and several others. There hasn’t been much advertising for this exhibit, but the display is sure to excite a lot of artists who grew up with these beautiful books. In addition, many of the images are available for purchase as “print on demand” reproductions through the Disney Gallery.

Here is the link to Disneyland’s official site, though there’s not
much information on the artists and history, unfortunately.

  • None of this cool stuff ever comes to DisneyWorld. Alas!

  • Truly wonderful artwork, and it’s a kick to see the original stuff.

    I’ve actually held original artwork in my hands that I saw in Disney picture books when I was a child.

    See a Disney long forgotten. A time when artists ruled.

  • I love this stuff, is any of it available for purchase online? Prints that is, I doubt I could afford the originals. You can see Mary Blair’s influence throughout. Great stuff.

  • Mike

    Oh God… I just wet myself.

    And I will be there this Sunday too… Oh Boy!!!!!

  • holy crap! seattle is still just as far from disneyland as it was when i was six. errrr.

  • I remember seeing this picture in a picture book when I was a kid. Oh…how cool!

  • Lili

    I was in Disneyland yesterday and saw this exhibition after I was SMS/texted about this Cartoon Brew post. (don’t you love modern wireless technology).

    The illustrations are stunning! And they took me right back to my childhood when I had these books. It was a shame that no artists were credited, but anyway… if you are in Disneyland, go see it!

    P.S. Amanda Visell’s prints are really nice too.

  • amid

    Lili, You’re truly a modern Brew reader :-)

    I’d never even thought of somebody getting posts from our site delivered to a wireless…just assumed everybody read this from their cubicles. Very cool.

    Back on topic though, that’s disappointing (but typical) to hear that none of the artists were credited in the show.

  • Amid: I’m a cubie reader…and I agree with you about no credit for these folks. That truly stinks.

  • Oh, if only I could be there to see this show. Sigh….

    Is there somebody who can take nice close-up shots of the exhibit? Would love to see all the wonderful little details closer.

  • Eddie

    Hey Amid, surely the guy who texted her and gave her the lowdown, is actually the modern Brew reader!

  • Oh wow. I’d SO love to see this.
    I’d love to see prints of these things which could be hung on your wall.
    I was heartened though, to discover that Little Golden Books STILL publishes Cinderella with these original pictures. I think Lady & the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty are other ones that have preserved the original art in current printings.

    I remember last time I went to DL back in 2000, New Orleans Square had an exhibition of early Disneyland poster art for various attractions.
    They did have prints for sale, but they started at about $50 :(

  • I had a visit with the man in charge of the publishing archives and he pointed out that Retta Scott did this Cinderella image. I don’t know if she did the drawing and the painting or if she just did the drawing/layout and another artist painted it. Retta and Mary Blair used to pal around together back in the 1940’s, so she was probably sensitive to keeping Mary’s shape idea intact. I like her images for the Cinderella book even though they are very different from the film images.