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The World of Color According to Mary Blair

I couple weeks ago, I was able to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum located at The Presido of San Francisco. My main purpose for this Disney adventure was to see their newest exhibit, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR the world of Mary Blair. I was excited to learn that there is now a separate building where special exhibits like this one can be housed. So, off I went to follow the whimsical trains on the pavement that led to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. 

In this two-story building, they had a variety of Mary Blair art on display. There was an audio guide available, too, so you could really learn all about Mary Blair and her work. Seeing her art from her early years was fabulous. You can really see where she started and how experiences in her life influenced her style. 

I first learned about Mary Blair from the Disneyland attraction, "it's a small world". It was after visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum back in 2010 that I learned more about her work in Disney films such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. It was Mary who Walt Disney tapped to help him with the "it's a small world" design for the 1964 New York's World Fair. She accompanied him and a group of Disney artists to countries in South America as part of a research tour. These trips influenced her flair for color, simple patterns and shapes. 

Mary Blair Exhibit, Walt Disney Family Museum March 2014 

I appreciated how the exhibit was laid out. It was colorful and simple just like Mary's style. There is some chronological order as the art is grouped by eras in Mary's work life. Her early years work were at the beginning of the exhibit and then you walked onto the main floor where you see the work she created during her time as a Disney artist. This middle section highlighted her work done in Disney classic films such as Alice Wonderland, Peter Pan and Cinderella. The second floor features her work as a Golden Books illustrator. You'll recognize some of them as they have become Golden Books classics. There are also some sketches as she worked on "it's a small world".

Art from Golden Book illustrations - I Can Fly

One of my favorite things to have seen is this painting that Mary had given to Walt and Lillian Disney. It had originally hung in the Disney family home.

Original Mary Blair portrait c. 1951 - Alice in Wonderland

In addition to this memorable piece, it was fun to see Mary Blair's hardhat. It has Mary Blair written all over it. 

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The Mary Blair exhibit runs until September 7th. So if you get a chance go straight to the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. You can find some wonderful books about Mary Blair art over on Amazon, including a pre-order for the special hardcover book that was done by The Walt Disney Family Museum for this exhibit. Not only do I admire her colorful work and designs, but I also applaud her being a strong role model of leadership during her time.