Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Something About Mary
Yes, we've heard the caveat, "Disneyland is not a museum", but in at least one instance attention to the Art of Disneyland must be paid. Disney artist, designer and color stylist Mary Blair (1911-1978) has so inspired several generations of animation artists with her legendary work in Disney Classic Animation and at the theme parks (Small World being most noteworthy) that to cover over or destroy her work in this day and age would be blasphemous. And yet in 1987 and 1997 Disney Imagineering did just that. Two of her largest and most exemplary tile murals covering the north and south sides of Disneylands classic 60's Tomorrowland were either chipped into oblivion when Star Tours opened or covered over with the opening of the 'New' Tomorrowland. Inarguably both are modernist masterpieces.
Certainly there's a solid argument suggesting the undamaged mural no longer fits with the style of the current area (as if anything tasteful and charming could) but incoming management should do everything they can to preserve and display what's left of Mary's amazing work of art, whether it's moving it to a neutral area in the park where it can be enjoyed on its own terms or finding contemporary artists willing to create companion works that harmonize well with her vision.
Because sometimes Disneyland SHOULD be a Museum.