Guests to the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot will journey “between the pages” of history as the American Heritage Gallery opens its doors to an art exhibit representing over 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution.
“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which opens March 8, draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history.
Their private collection has been displayed throughout the U.S., including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Approximately 40 pieces will be on display for Epcot guests at any given time on a rotating basis during the exhibit run.
“We always wanted to extend the reach of the Collection to a larger, more international and diverse audience,” explained Bernard Kinsey. “So we are delighted to be collaborating with Disney to share the stories of our remarkable ancestors.”
Overseeing the collection is the Kinseys’ son, Khalil, whose school-age curiosity inspired his parents to build their collection.
The exhibit – themed to hope, belief, courage, imagination and heritage – provides optimistic and empowering stories from American history from voices that are not commonly seen or heard. Art and artifacts pay homage to African-Americans who helped build and transform a nation. Their stories of determination and courage, from the nation’s early days to the present, are at the heart of the exhibit.
To enrich the immersive storytelling experience of the exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineers added interactive displays in which Epcot guests can deepen their knowledge of the American heritage that the Kinsey holdings represent. Epcot guests will be able to use touch screens placed throughout the exhibit to further explore the art, artifacts and history. Guest-activated lanterns will help bring the history to life, with narration provided by Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (“The View”), Diane Sawyer (“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”), and actors Chandra Wilson & James Pickens, Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Zendaya Coleman & Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up”), China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”), Tyrel Jackson Williams (“Lab Rats”).
“We are thrilled to bring the Kinsey Collection to Epcot guests,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president, Walt Disney World Parks. “Epcot is such a rich cultural tapestry that it serves as the perfect showcase for this powerful collection, with its celebration of the human spirit.”
Among highlights of each themed gallery:
By age 19, Phillis Wheatley became internationally known as the first African-American ever to publish a book of poetry (1773). She wrote poetry about hope and freedom and is now known as The Mother of African American Literature. (Document on display: Phyllis Wheatley’s first book).
Other Hope Gallery highlights: Samuel Francis Smith, My Country ‘Tis of Thee lyrics (1895); “Untitled,” Hughie Lee Smith (1951); Almanack, Benjamin Banneker (1796)
Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved young black woman often called an “American Anne Frank” stayed seven years in a tiny attic until she could escape to freedom. She later chronicled her story in an autobiography. (Document on display: Harriet Jacobs’ book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1862)
Other Courage Gallery highlights: Sea Island Woman, fiber art, Bisa Butler (2006); Loss, sculpture, Michael Chukes (1998);
In 1870, only seven years after Emancipation, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Josiah Walls became the first African-American to represent Florida in the House of Representatives. (Document on display: “Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels Cabinet Card Photograph”)
Other Belief Gallery highlights: Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag (1889); What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher (1881); A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, Matthew Henson book (1912) and article.
Alain Locke not only became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907, but his book “The New Negro” helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance, a period in American culture that produced artists, musicians, writers and thinkers that showed the world how American greatness comes from all of its citizens. (Document on display: The Negro in Art, by Alain Locke).
Other Imagination Gallery highlights: Harmon Foundation Catalogs (1931-1935); American Beach Negro Ocean Playground, Florida – Steel plaque (1930); “Untitled” (Kadir Nelson, 1992)
History can be shared through many types of artifacts. Sometimes it’s as simple as a timeworn letter written by Carrie Kinsey (Bernard’s cousin) to President Roosevelt. Or an old sewing machine passed down through generations by Shirley’s grandmother, Susie Plummer Pooler. (Document on display: “Letter to President Roosevelt,” by Carrie Kinsey)
Other Heritage Gallery highlights: Bill of Sale-William Johnson (1832); Schedule of Over 500 Slaves (1820); Sewing Machine (1900), Susie Plummer Pooler
The American Adventure pavilion is in the heart of the World Showcase area of Epcot. “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” is included in Epcot admission. For more information, visit http://thekinseycollection.com
The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced that it will be honoring the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with a special exhibition beginning later this year.
On view from November 15, 2012 to April 14, 2013, the exhibition celebrates Walt Disney’s vision and the artistry of his dedicated staff, illustrating how they shaped and defined an entirely new American art form through their creation of this groundbreaking film. Guided by the vision of a master storyteller, 32 animators, 1032 assistants, 107 inbetweeners, 10 layout artists, 25 background artists, 65 special effects animators and 158 inkers and painters and countless production staff came together to create the masterpiece. The exhibition is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum, and guest curated by Lella Smith, Creative Director of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library.
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic’ features more than 200 works of art including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings. Also featured are delicate thumbnail layout watercolors, meticulously rendered pencil layouts, rare watercolor backgrounds, colorful cels, and vintage posters all illustrating how Walt Disney advanced the creation of an entirely new art form.
The exhibition is organized by sequence through the progression of the movie, featuring some never-before-seen works of art with behind-the-scenes stories about the film’s production. The exhibition also features artwork from deleted scenes from the film, some of which were only partially animated. One is the Bed Building Scene, in which the dwarfs build and carve a lovely bed for Snow White. Filled with numerous gags, these sequences were great fun, but Walt felt that they took the focus away from Snow White’s story. Other, less-developed scenes included a fantasy scene of Snow White dancing in the stars, and the lodge meeting in which the dwarfs decide to make a bed for Snow White.
Gabriella Calicchio, the Museum’s Chief Executive Officer comments, “I am extremely pleased to present Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic as the museum’s first major special exhibition. As the film turns 75, the exhibition showcases Disney’s ongoing significance and relevance on contemporary culture. I am truly inspired by Walt’s life and work, not only for the breadth of his creativity and for his accomplishments, but for his fundamental belief in the power of the imagination, his unwavering tenacity, and the visionary genius he became by following that belief. Disney’s legacy is limitless and I hope the exhibition will ignite creativity and imagination in all of us.”
Walt Disney’s daughter Diane Disney Miller shares, “My Dad was completely and intimately engaged in this film from start to finish. It was the first of its kind to have the depth of character, careful attention to story, original music that helped tell that story, and superb artistry. It was, and is still, a masterpiece and I look forward to sharing it with our community and beyond. I hope visitors come away being inspired just as my Dad hoped to instill creativity, innovation, and imagination in the artists he worked with.”
The Walt Disney Studios began work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934 and it was released at Hollywood’s Carthay Circle Theater on December 21, 1937. While being the first full-length, animated feature film was a milestone, much of its cinematic importance to the evolution of animation derives from the skill with which the Disney artists imbued their characters with an inner life filled with emotion and thought. As Walt himself described, “Of all the characters in the fairy tales, I loved Snow White the best, and when I planned my first full-length cartoon, she inevitably was the heroine.”
After its premiere in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opened in 1938 at Radio City Music Hall and continued to play across the United States and in Europe throughout 1938 and 1939. The film was wildly popular, becoming the top-grossing film of all time, up to that date. Appealing to audiences of all ages, a wide variety of Snow White merchandise appeared in stores, ranging from toys and books to watches and puzzles. The film’s songs were published on sheet music and RCA Victor albums featuring the film’s memorable songs marked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as the first film to release a multi-record musical soundtrack.
Walt Disney’s groundbreaking masterpiece drew worldwide acclaim, winning the Grand Biennale Art Trophy from the Venice Film Festival and special awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Motion Picture Academy. The film also received an honorary custom-made Oscar® which consisted of one standard Oscar® statuette alongside seven miniature statuettes (representing each of the dwarfs), which was presented to Walt by Shirley Temple in 1939—this by far was the most distinctive award in Academy history.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs continues to garner accolades and awards. In 1989, it was among the first 25 featured films to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, and in 2008, it was named the Greatest Animated Film of All Time. The film also marked a pivotal milestone in animation. Calling upon the experience they gained from creating the early Disney animated shorts and the award-winning Silly Symphonies, Walt Disney and his artists defined the artistic foundation that would shape all their other animated feature films to follow.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Walt Disney Family Foundation Press will publish a fully illustrated 256-page catalogue written by Disney historian J.B. Kaufman. The catalogue features more than 200 pieces of art, many reproduced from original concept sketches, background paintings, and production cels, as well as alternate character concepts, deleted scenes, and step-by-step process shots.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at the Presidio in San Francisco and is open Wednesdays through Monday, from 10 am – 6 pm. The museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission to the museum is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $12 for children ages 16-17. The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs exhibition is a separate admission fee of $10, or $25 per adult when purchased in combination of museum admission. Combo tickets also available at a discount for seniors, students and children.
Earlier this week, the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA unveiled its latest exhibit, ‘From Silver Screen to Die-cast: Disney/Pixar Cars Imagined by Mattel.’
Since the launch of the first Cars film in June 2006, Mattel has produced more than 200 million die-cast Cars vehicles featuring more than 500 unique designs that represent the many beloved characters from the films. This special exhibit, part of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s ‘Hollywood Gallery,’ includes a comprehensive collection of the Disney/Pixar Cars die-cast vehicles and gives Cars fans and collectors alike an entertaining and informative glimpse into the history of Mattel’s blockbuster toy line.
Exhibit highlights include:
- Diorama Movie Scene Recreations Featuring Cars Vehicles: Hundreds of die-cast vehicles representing the many beloved characters from Cars and Cars 2 – from the popular Lightning McQueen and Mater to the big-wheeled Haulers and their corresponding racers. Each display showcases the character’s distinct automobile model and design bringing their personalities and storylines to life.
- Rare and Never-Before-Seen Cars Vehicles: Highlights of some of the most exclusive and never released Cars die-cast vehicles such as the elusive ‘Apple Car’ from the Speedway of the South set, to special collections never released to the general public including Trev Diesel and others. Each display also features the behind-the-scenes stories that make these collectibles so rare.
- Evolution of Cars Die-cast Packaging: Display features the evolution of the Mattel product packaging from the original Cars design introducing fans to Radiator Springs in 2006, to how the franchise’s unique merchandising revolutionized the die-cast packaging category.
- Cars Super Chase Die-cast Collection: For the die-hard collector, a first look at Mattel’s ultra-exclusive 2012 line of die-cast cars that will feature one-time only, limited-run vehicles of very special Cars 2 characters. Display will include first Super Chase vehicle to launch – Flash – inspired by the real-life race car driver featured exclusively in the Swedish version of Cars 2.
- Lightning McQueen Alive Showcase: A celebration of the innovative technology used to authentically bring the big personality of Lightning McQueen from the film screen into the playroom in miniature 1:55 scale. Product design highlights the cutting-edge micro-technology developed to create the life-like mouth, eye and shoulder movements of this little electronic vehicle that will be sure to top wish lists this coming holiday season!
Photos courtesy of Disney Consumer Products
September 25, 2010 is the sixth annual Museum Day sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine. Over 1300 participating museums nationwide will offer the opportunity for guests to enter for free on September 25 (or September 26 if closed on the 25th). Among those museums participating are The Walt Disney Family Museum located at the Presidio in San Francisco and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum in Los Angeles which currently houses an Alice in Wonderland exhibit.
For more information on the nationwide event and to download your free admission media (required), visit the event’s website.
Photo Gallery: Opening Night Gala, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Exhibit at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
In celebration of the Blu-ray™ & DVD release of Alice in Wonderland on June 1, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE), in partnership with Disney Consumer Products (DCP), unveiled a first-of-its-kind Alice In Wonderland Exhibition in the FIDM Museum & Galleries at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.
Colleen Atwood (Academy Award® winning designer; Best Achievement in Costume Design for Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005 and Best Costume Design for Chicago in 2002) was in attendance along with Nick Verreos (star of “Project Runway”, graduate and instructor at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and NIKOLAKI owner/designer) and Kerli (singer/songwriter of “Strange” and “Tea Party”, featured on the film’s soundtrack).
The opening night gala featured a fashion show of Alice in Wonderland inspired red carpet gown couture by FIDM grads, a special live performance by Kerli and a “sneak peek” at Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Costume Exhibition at FIDM before it opened the doors to the general public on Thursday, May 27th.
The exhibition includes Colleen Atwood’s original costume designs from the film, including Johnny Depp’s original Mad Hatter fighter garment, several of Mia Wasikowska’s Alice dresses and Helena Bonham Carter’s Red Queen Dress; The “Edgier Side of Alice” inspired clothing and products by Sue Wong, Tom Binns, Avril Lavigne and FIDM grads; SuperLab gowns and more.
Photos © Berliner Photography/BEImages, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Walt Disney Family Museum Featuring ‘Peter Pan’ Exhibition Through June; Kathryn Beaumont to Appear May 22
Peter Pan, a story which captivated the imagination of Walt Disney as early as 1935, will be showcased in a special exhibition at The Walt Disney Family Museum now through June 27, 2010. The feature-length animated film, released in 1953, will also be celebrated as the Museum’s film of the month in May.
Highlights of the exhibition include 16 original concept drawings by renowned Disney artist Mary Blair, which were loaned to the Museum by the Walt Disney Animation Studios Research Library. Also on display are 1930s character sketches, storyboard outlines, original concept art, model sheets, and vintage posters from the collection of the Walt Disney Family Foundation. This stunning collection of works, combined with special artifacts and Mary Blair’s concept art, reveals the evolution and results of the 1953 film. This project was also the last in which all members of Disney’s illustrious ‘Nine Old Men’ worked together as directing animators.
A first edition copy of the play by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, is displayed alongside a “final treatment” of the Disney film dated from March 1946, and they are opened to the same moment in the story, when Wendy learns that Peter can fly.
Also participating in the Museum’s salute to Peter Pan will be actress Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced the role of Wendy, eldest of the Darling children. She’ll appear at The Walt Disney Family Museum to share her memories as a voice-over artist on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available online at www.waltdisney.org.
In the spring of 2009, The Walt Disney Family Museum approached veteran filmmaker Don Hahn with a proposal to create a film that would celebrate the holidays through the eyes of Walt Disney. Under the direction of Diane Disney Miller, her husband Ron, and executive director Richard Benefield, the genesis of this idea became Christmas with Walt Disney, an enchanting fifty-one minute film filled with the joy and merriment of the holidays.
Mr. Hahn, whose credits include The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, was tapped to produce this film that will now become an annual event for The Walt Disney Family Museum to stage and entertain their guests each year during the holidays.
Christmas with Walt Disney is full of surprises including scenes from the television specials and vintage commercials from early Disney sponsors such as Kodak and Coca Cola. The studio Dixieland band, Firehouse Five plus Two makes a spirited appearance, as do clips from dozens of Disney’s films including Swiss Family Robinson, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia and a clip from The Happiest Millionaire featuring Fred McMurray and Greer Garson singing “It Won’t be Long ‘til Christmas”— a very rare clip since this song was cut out of the picture.
“During our first screening of some selected clips to Ron and Diane, we showed clips of Walt skiing and ice skating with Lillian intercut with clips of Mickey and Goofy on ice,” said executive producer Craig Murray. “The quick cuts from Walt to Goofy did the trick and showed how much this man’s life became his art.”
The film will be shown several times a day (except Tuesdays and December 25 and January 1) from November 27 – January 4. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit the museum’s website.
Disney Precious Collections to Feature Exclusive Jewelry at New Orleans Museum of Art Disney Retrospective
Disney Precious Collections, Fine Disney Jewelry For Children, has been selected as the featured product during Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studios, at The New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans from November 15, 2009 – March 14, 2010.
This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, which cannot be seen anywhere else, is set to coincide with the premier of Disney’s newest animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. The exhibition will feature 600 original works instrumental in the development of animated features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. In addition, there will be artwork from The Princess and the Frog, an animated comedy from the creators of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. This current version of the princess and the Frog is set in New Orleans during the 1920s Jazz Age, and is due for release Christmas, 2009.
“We are delighted to present this magical exhibition in New Orleans,” said “NOMA director E. John Bullard. “Children will love seeing their favorite Disney characters in a museum setting and adults will be taken by the technical skill and emotional depth reflected in these works. It was Disney animators who really led the way in the 20th century toward establishing animation as a serious art form.” The exhibition will also feature a children’s section celebrating Disney’s connections with jazz music and the Crescent City. The artworks, on loan from the Walt Disney Studio Animation Research Library, will be accompanied by film clips to demonstrate how individual sketches and paintings lead to a finished celluloid masterpiece.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mickey Mouse paid a visit to Kansas City this weekend, Walt Disney’s hometown, as he celebrated the unveiling of a traveling art exhibit that pays homage to Walt’s lifelong love of trains. He also unveiled the latest Mickey Mouse-inspired toy train set, Mickey’s Magic Choo Choo, releasing in time for the holidays. Local preschoolers along with Kansas City officials and hundreds of fans saw Mickey off as he kicked off his virtual train tour departing Union Station for Los Angeles, where he will arrive just in time for a viewing party showcasing the upcoming Disney Channel primetime special, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Choo Choo Express airing Sunday, October 25th (7:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT).
Families and their kids can track Mickey’s travels online at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, where they can now view the debut of “Mickey’s Evolution,” a video retrospective that reminds us why Mickey Mouse is a bona fide global icon. Fans can also follow Mickey’s virtual train tour on www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving, and on Facebook, search word: Disney Living, as he makes his way to the Travel Town Railroad Museum in Los Angeles.
The Art Exhibit
The exhibit captures the history of Walt’s and Mickey’s love of trains with a nod to life on the railroad in the early 20th century. Introducing visitors to rare animation art, historic photography and some of Walt’s personal train-related artifacts, the gallery tells the story of a simpler time when Mickey and friends traveled by rail and Walt himself was building one-of-a-kind miniature railroads in his backyard for friends and family. Including photographs of Walt riding the “Lilly Belle” or Mickey rushing to catch a train in an early animation sketch from Mr. Mouse Takes A Trip, this unique art collection comprised of nearly two dozen pieces, will be on display at Union Station from October 10-11, 2009; select images will then move to the Travel Town Railroad Museum in Los Angeles, Calif.
It makes its official debut this Thursday, October 1, but D23 members were offered an exclusive preview this past weekend to visit the new Walt Disney Family Museum located in San Francisco’s The Presidio. Reports of the free tickets selling out fast were all too common and it’s not any fault of the Museum. A steady stream of D23 Members crowded the ten galleries focusing on visually and audibly telling the story of Walt Disney’s life.
From the moment you step into the beautiful but non-descript building, you get a taste for what you’re in for. Nine trophy cases line the walls filled with literally hundreds of different awards and recognitions received by Disney along with a few bonus items thrown in. Also on display in the lobby area is some of the original furniture from the Disney apartment above the Disneyland Fire Department as well as the multi-plane camera just inside the gift shop area (the multi-plane camera is so large that it actually extends to its proper exhibit on the second floor).
Inside the first Gallery, you are introduced to Walt’s family, even pre-Walt. There are literally hundreds of photos that help depict the life of the childhood of Walt and his siblings. You also get your first taste of the technology heavily employed within the museum: LCD monitors (a few of *many*) play a short, stylized video along with actual records of Walt recalling his youth — everything from growing up on a farm to forging a document so that he’d be accepted by the American Red Cross to join an Ambulance unit in France during the war after being rejected by the Armed Forces for his age (he was 16 at the time).