D23 announces “Inspiring Walt Disney: Animation of French Decorative Arts” coming soon to the Met in New York


D23 has just announced a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Inspiring Walt Disney: French Decorative Arts Animation.

What is happening:

  • For the first time ever, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will showcase the hand-drawn animation work of Walt Disney Animation Studios in a new exhibit that opens on December 10, 2021 and runs through March 6. 2022. Inspiring Walt Disney: French Decorative Arts Animation will draw new parallels between the magical creations of Disney Studios and their artistic models, examining Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks.
  • Visitors to the exhibition will find 150 works of art and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, the Walt Disney Archives, the Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and the Walt Disney Family Museum, as well as 40 works of decorative art and 18th century European design. from tapestries and furniture to Boulle clocks and Sèvres porcelain. Additionally, selected film sequences will highlight the studios’ extraordinary technological and artistic developments over the life of Walt Disney and beyond. Inspire Walt Disney will also highlight references to European visual culture found in so many Disney classrooms, from Gothic Revival architecture seen in Cinderella (1950) and medieval influences on The Sleeping Beauty (1959), to rococo-inspired objects that come to life in The beauty and the Beast (1991).
  • Organized thematically and globally chronologically, the exhibition will explore Walt Disney’s close connection with France, highlighting his encounters with European art and architecture during his repeated visits to Western Europe. These tours influenced Walt and his studios throughout his life, and also inspired his passion for collecting and building miniature furniture and dollhouse content. Several of these mini-objects will be on display alongside personal film footage of Walt and his family visiting Paris and Versailles.
  • Through a presentation of French and German Rococo porcelain figurines alongside story sketches for two from Disney’s Silly symphoniesThe clock store (1931) and The China Shop (1934) – the exhibition will explore the concept of “Animate the inanimate”. The whimsical porcelain figurines featured in the exhibit were originally inspired by the pastoral scenes of French Rococo painter Antoine Watteau and his contemporaries, and they, in turn, inspired the first generation of Disney animators.
  • A section focused on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, features a gouache on celluloid depicting two greedy eyed vultures from the film, which Walt Disney presented at the Met in 1938. The Cinderella The section will highlight groundbreaking female artists who entered the creative realm of Disney Studios, including Bianca Majolie and Mary Blair. The latter’s bold and colorful style was the driving force behind the look of studio feature films of the 1940s and early 1950s. And visitors will also discover the medieval sources Eyvind Earle and his fellow artists consulted. when they created The Sleeping Beauty. These included The unicorn hunt tapestries (1495-1505; also known as Unicorn Tapestries) from The Met Cloisters collection, which are often credited with providing a starting point for the film’s visual development.
  • The exhibition marks the 30th anniversary of The beauty and the Beastexit to the entertainment room of and the largest section of Inspire Walt Disney is devoted to the beloved film. The expansive section will explore the subjects of anthropomorphism and zoomorphism in 18th-century French literature and decorative arts, Disney’s satirical take on Rococo fashion, the interiors of the film’s enchanted castle, and design and animation. of the Beast and other characters. Sketches from the movies will be seen alongside the 18th-century clocks, candlesticks and teapots that may have inspired Cogsworth, Lumière and Mrs. Potts and illustrate how Disney animators and rococo artisans found ways to bring life to life. these inanimate objects. The Beast transformation scene, hosted by Glen Keane and inspired by the Bourgeois de Calais by sculptor Auguste Rodin, will be in the spotlight, as well as The beauty and the BeastThe beloved ballroom scene of, whose backdrop recalls the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. And a “Be Our Guest” exhibit will examine how glittering silver and porcelain buffets were part of the festivities at Versailles and other European courts.
  • A final section takes a look at the architecture of Disney with a focus on the iconic castles that are so much a part of Disney movies and theme parks. While these amazing structures transcend specific styles and time periods, the exhibit will explore how Disney artists were heavily influenced by French and German architecture when creating their sets, especially for theme parks. The exhibition includes a presentation of conceptual art from Walt Disney Imagineering; the first bird’s eye view of Disneyland, drawn by Herbert Ryman under the direction of Walt Disney in 1953; and the only two pairs of so-called Tour vases, made by Sèvres around 1762-1763 and likely to be reunited for the first time in history. These enchanting vases were designed to stimulate the imagination in much the same way as Disney castles.
  • Sarah Lawrence, Curator of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor in charge of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, said: “Burchard provides a very original response to her, one that enriches our appreciation of the art of Disney animation and rekindles our enjoyment of the decorative arts. from 18th century France. The genius of Walt Disney and his studio was to have guessed the animation implicit in this ornate furniture, and then to discover a technology that brings these objects to life.
  • Inspire Walt Disney is organized in collaboration with The Wallace Collection in London, where the exhibition will open in spring 2022.

What they say :

  • Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Met Director: “Disney animated films and decorative Rococo artwork are imbued with elements of playful storytelling, fun and wonder. 18th century artisans and 20th century animators sought to arouse feelings of excitement, awe and wonder in their respective audiences. Through exquisite objects and Disney artifacts, this exhibition will offer an unprecedented look at the impact of French art on the productions of Disney Studios from the 1930s to almost the present day.
  • Wolf Bouchard, exhibition curator: “In setting up the first-ever Met exhibition dedicated to Walt Disney and the work of his studios, it was important for us to explore his sources of inspiration and to recognize that his studio’s lively interpretations of European fairy tales have become a lens through which many view Western art and culture today. Our fresh take on this material, which prompts an effervescent dialogue between the drawings and illustrations of some of the most talented artists from Walt Disney animation studios and a rich range of the finest 18th century furniture and porcelain, brings humor to life. , the spirit and ingenuity of the French Rococo decorative arts.

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