The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced it will present the exhibition ‘Leading Ladies and Femmes Fatales: The Art of Marc Davis’ from April 30 through November 30, 2014. On view in the museum’s Theater Gallery, the exhibition — co-curated by the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, Michael Labrie, and animator Andreas Deja — spotlights some 70 original pencil animation drawings, conceptual artwork, paintings, cels, and photographs from animator and Imagineer Marc Davis (b. 1913). Davis, who was named a Disney Legend in 1989, was assigned and executed some of the most difficult animation for Walt Disney’s leading ladies and femmes fatales from classics such as Peter Pan (1953), Sleeping Beauty (1956), and One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). It was Davis’ mastery of the human form and authority on anatomy and movement that brought these iconic female characters to life and made them believable.
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).
Our series peeking into the galleries at the new Walt Disney Family Museum comes to a close with Gallery 10: Remembering Walt Disney.
Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966. Reactions from around the world, in newspaper articles, editorial comment, and letters and telegrams present an appreciation of the joy, hope, and inspiration Walt provided to millions of people around the world.
All images © Disney Enterprises, courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum