Mary Blair artwork is now on display in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. There is a lot of things going on over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort right now. With the Scrim starting to be removed both inside and on the upper floors and also removing the outside scrim. Furthermore, room renovations are happening, along with Steakhouse ’71 replacing the Wave restaurant. The lobby, elevators, and lighting are all being refurbished or enhanced in some way.
Right off the main lobby, on the back wall, and near the coffee shop, Mary Blair artwork has been hung up. Previously the wall where most of the Artwork hangs was covered in black scrim while workers were finishing painting the walls. The main portion of the works hanging is opposite the entrance to the new Steakhouse 71.
All of the Mary Blair artwork and prints previously hung elsewhere in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. There is no rhyme or reason for some of the pieces to be hung the way they are, except for the 3 images of Mary Blair artwork that hang next to Contemporary Grounds. Those prints feature coffee cups. We don’t believe this will be the final spot for most of these works of art.
Mary Blair artwork
Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, in 1911, the inherently gifted artist won a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. After graduation in 1933, at the height of the Depression, Mary took a job in the animation unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer rather than pursue her dream of a fine arts career. In 1940, she joined the Walt Disney Studio and worked on a number of projects, including the “Baby Ballet,” a never-produced segment for a proposed second version of Fantasia.
In 1941, she joined the Disney expedition that toured South America for three months; her watercolors so captured the spirit of the Latin countries that she was named art supervisor on The Three Caballeros and Saludos Amigos. Mary’s unique color and styling greatly influenced such Disney postwar productions as Song of the South, Make Mine Music, Melody Time, So Dear to My Heart, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. She also contributed to special shorts, including The Little House and Susie, the Little Blue Coupe.
During a break from Disney, Mary found a successful career as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Among her works were the illustrations for several Little Golden Books, some of which, including I Can Fly, is still in print today.
Walt later asked Mary to assist in the design of its a small world attraction for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair; the final result was an attraction that is purely Mary Blair in its style and concept. Over the years, Mary contributed to the design of many exhibits, attractions, and murals for the theme parks in California and Florida, including the fanciful murals in the Grand Canyon Concourse at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort Hotel.
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