Monday, March 2, 2009
This is a little blog I'm dedicating to Mary Blair and other artists of her ilk. Mary Blair is an inspiration to me as her illustrations are so filled with joy, clever compositions and colors, and an amazing artistic skill that belies the simplicity of the subjects.
Mary Blair (October 21, 1911 - July 26, 1978), born Mary Robinson, was an American artist best known for her work with Disney, Little Golden Books, and advertising. Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Mary Browne Robinson moved to Texas while still a small child, and later to California when she was about 7. Having graduated from San Jose State College, Mary won a scholarship to the renowned Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where teachers included Pruett Carter, Morgan Russell and Lawrence Murphy. In 1934, she married another artist, Lee Everett Blair (October 1, 1911–April 19, 1995).
The early 1950s were a busy time for the Disney studio, with an animated feature released nearly every year. Mary Blair was credited with color styling on Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953) and the artistic influence of her concept art is strongly felt in those films as well as several animated shorts she designed during that period.
In 1991, Mary was recognized with a posthumous Disney Legend award. Also posthumously, she received the Winsor McCay award from ASIFA-Hollywood in 1996. While the fine art she created outside of her association with Disney and her work as an illustrator is not widely known or appreciated, her bold and groundbreaking color design still serves as an inspiration to contemporary designers and animators.
In this blog I will include images (which I hope are in public domain or acceptable for reporting purposes) and stories of Mary Blair and her contemporaries. This blog will serve mainly as a referrence piece for myself and my own art but will hopefully give some enjoyment to others interested in this type of art.