While speaking of Mary Blair here’s a great book published in 2003 by Disney Press, a great addition to any collection that is still in print, telling the story behind one of Walt Disney‘s favourite artists. Blair was anamazingly prolific American artist who enlivened and influenced the not-so-small world of film, print, theme parks, architectural decor andadvertising. Emulated by many, she remains unique: a dazzling sorceress of design andcolour.
Mary Blair (Born Mary Robinson on October 21, 1911) worked on concept art for the feature films Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. In the early 50s Blair made concept paintings for Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953) and was credited with color styling for those three films. Her artistic influence is also strongly felt in many Disney animated shorts from that period.
After Peter Pan, Mary resigned from Disney to work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She created many advertising campaigns and illustrated several Little Golden Books. She was back working with Disney at the time of launching the Disneyland park. She worked on the original It’s a Small World attraction that was later replicated in other Parks.
Mary Blair died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 26, 1978 and was was honored as a Disney Legend in 1991. Her bold and groundbreaking color design still serves as an inspiration to contemporary designers and animators.