Today’s Google Doodle honors the work of Mary Blair (born Mary Robinson), an American artist who is predominantly known for her work with Disney.
She is responsible for the concept art behind some of the early Disney classics like Peter Pan, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. She also created designs for Disney outside of the film studio – like Disneyland’s It’s a Small World attraction and a large mosaic in the Disney resort.
Today is her 100th birthday.
Blair and her husband both worked in animation, signing on with Disney in the 1940s. She helped on classics like Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp before taking time to travel to South America. When she returned, she continued to draw for Disney until the mid 1950s.
After her time at Disney, Blair was known for creating advertising campaigns for large companies like Nabisco and Maxwell House.
Blair died in 1978 of a cerebral hemorrhage,
According to her website, the magic of Mary Blair, here’s what author John Canemaker says about her art:
Beneath her deceptively simple style, lies enormous visual sophistication and craftsmanship in everything from color choices to composition.
Though much of her art veers away from naturalism toward abstraction, she was one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists; he personally responded to her use of color, naïve graphics, and the storytelling aspect in her pictures, especially the underlying emotions palpable in much of her ar
Her conceptual designs are felt running through many Disney films that we all know and love. Here’s a cool YouTube video of some of her art for Alice in Wonderland: