The Huntington | ‘Inspiring Walt Disney: the animation of French decorative arts’ | South Pasadenan

Frank Armitage, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Paris, 1988. Gouache and acrylic on cardboard, 45 x 21 in. (114.3 x 53.3cm). Walt Disney’s Imagineering Collection. ©Disney.

News provided by The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens will present the traveling international exhibition “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” from December 10, 2022 to March 27, 2023. Organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Wallace Collection in London in association with The Huntington, the exhibition explores the early inspirations behind the designs of Disney Studios, examining Walt Disney’s fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in films and theme parks from Disney.

Jean-Baptiste Pater (French, 1695–1736), The Swing, ca. 1730. Oil on canvas, 18 x 21 3/8 in. (45.7 x 54.3cm). Adele S. Browning Memorial Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

Around 50 works of 18th-century European decorative and design art, many from The Huntington’s extensive collection, will be displayed alongside hand-drawn production art and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

The presentation of the exhibition at The Huntington coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Walt Disney Company.

Attributed to Etienne-Maurice Falconet (French, 1716–1791), Sèvres Manufactory (French, founded 1740), Tower Vase with Lid (Tower Vase), ca. 1762. Soft-paste porcelain, ground colors pink and blue overglaze, decoration in polychrome enamel and gilding, 20 1/2 x 9 x 9 in. (20.5″ x 9″ x 9″) The Arabella D. Huntington Memorial Art Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

“We are thrilled to partner with our colleagues at The Met and The Wallace Collection to bring ‘Inspiring Walt Disney’ to Southern California,” said Christina Nielsen, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum at The Huntington. “The exhibition is a fun and fascinating way to share with a wide audience works from The Huntington’s remarkable collection of French decorative art, which are key examples of how art history has inspired the popular culture.”

“Inspiring Walt Disney” originated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it ran from December 10, 2021 to March 6, 2022; it is exhibited at the Wallace Collection in London from April 6, 2022 to October 16, 2022.

About the Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens is a globally significant cultural and educational institution. Building on the renowned collections of Henry E. and Arabella Huntington, The Huntington supports research and promotes education in the arts, humanities and botany through the growth and preservation of its collections; the development of a community of researchers, school programs and partnerships; and the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources for various audiences.


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