Ben Sharpsteen retirement party

If you’re a fan of conservatively dressed middle-aged white men, boy, do I have a treat for you today. This photo from February 24, 1959, was taken on the occasion of Ben Sharpsteen’s retirement from Disney. Sharpsteen, who is flanked by Walt and Roy, was the supervising director of Pinocchio and Dumbo, as well as Walt’s most frequently whipped “whipping boy,” among many other roles during a thirty-year career at the studio. Pretty much anybody who was a somebody at Disney showed up for his retirement soiree. It is an inspiring image from Hollywood’s Golden Age, and alternately, a sad commentary on how little diversity existed in the upper ranks of the Walt Disney Company during this period.

See the group party photo and identifications after the jump.

The man of the hour, Ben Sharpsteen, is seated in the center. Click for the large version:

Ben Sharpsteen

In this next version of the photo, I’ve attempted to identify as many of the artists as I could. There’s at least a half-dozen other artists that I thought I recognized, but didn’t label unless I was absolutely sure. If you can positively identify other people in the photo, please comment and I’ll update the identifications. [UPDATED: I’ve added more identifications based on your comments. Keep them coming.]

Ben Sharpsteen

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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