Mirror, Mirror, on the Disneyland Walls
When I visited the Disneyland Dream Suite a couple weeks ago, our tour guide told us about the story behind this beautiful painted mirror.
Lilian Disney commissioned an artist by name of Glendra von Kessel to create beautiful mirrors using a lost technique called reverse glass painting. These mirrors were to be part of the decor for a New Orleans store that Lilian named, Mademoiselle Antoinette's Parfumerie. Named after Marie Antoinette, the perfume store decor was very ornate and fancy. The hand embellished mirrors enhanced the French setting. You can view some images of von Kessel in the process of painting glass murals in this Disney Parks blog post.
Our tour guide let us know that von Kessel passed away before the mirrors were completed and installed. Disney Legend, Dorothea Redmond finished the mirrors after teaching herself the reverse glass painting technique. You can still visit Mademoiselle Antoinette's Parfumerie in New Orleans Square to see these beautiful mirrors. Look for von Kessel's signature on them, too.
When it came time to create the Disneyland Dream Suite, Walt Disney Imagineering Art Director Kim Irvine looked to the Redmond's original renderings that she (Redmond) had worked on with Walt Disney to come up with the room decor. You can see the mirror in this drawing. Compare it to the photo above and you can see how much attention to detail went into creating the original space that Disney envisioned. Irvine had to teach herself reverse glass painting in order to create the glass painted mirror that now stands in the Parlor Room in the Disneyland Dream Suite.
What makes Disney, Disney is the attention to details. I thought this was a great example of the Disney heritage, and how you can still find remnants of Walt Disney's influence at Disneyand Park today.
Wishing you some Disney magic,