courtesy photoPersonal wishes: Vintage handmade cards by Disney employees are on view in S.F.

Holiday greetings from Disney artists

Walt Disney is rightfully respected and beloved as an artistic figurehead and creative visionary for his contributions to modern popular culture and family entertainment.

But he also surrounded himself with the best talents of his time to help bring his fanciful visions to life.

It is no surprise, then, that these artists couldn’t turn off their creative impulses and natural talent when it came to their personal lives, and one facet of that one-of-a-kind output is on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio.

“Disney Artists’ Holiday Wishes” is a small but heartfelt and illuminating exhibit featuring handcrafted holiday cards created by 18  Disney Studio employees from 1937-1970.  

“We thought it would be perfect to put up the cards in November and December, celebrating the holidays and showcasing these individual people’s work,” says Disney Museum registrar and exhibit curator Anel Muller.

Cartoonist Al Taliaferro, who helped bring Donald Duck to prominence, kept many of the cards he received over the years, and his collection was eventually acquired by Walter E. Disney Miller, one of Walt Disney’s grandsons, who donated it to the Walt Disney Family Foundation.

“A lot of the art that they did that had nothing to do with the productions, and it’s some amazing stuff,” says Muller. “They were always artists, they never turned it off.”

Imagery on the cards ranges from cartoonish family scenes and goofy photographs to more serious themes, including a detailed recreation of an animation cel and film script — yet they all convey the same optimistic holiday messages.

Selections from Disney legends such as Clarence Nash (the original voice of Donald Duck), Hamilton Luske (animator), Charles Philippi (layout artist) and Mary Blair (concept artist) feature the same creativity and talent that they displayed when they worked on revered classics including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Pinocchio,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”

IF YOU GO

Disney Artists’ Holiday Wishes

Presented by The Walt Disney Family Museum

Where: 104 Montgomery St., The Presidio, San Francisco

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays, closes Dec. 31

Tickets: $12 to $20; children 5 and under free with adult admission

Contact: (415) 345-6800, www.waltdisney.org

Art & MuseumsartsentertainmentFine Artswalt disney museum

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF police issue first citation for violating stay at home order to abortion protester

Ronald Konopaski, 86, cited outside Planned Parenthood for allegedly failing to shelter in place

Pier 39 aquarium staff furloughed — but what about the fish?

Aquarium of the Bay raising funds from public to keep up operations during shutdown

Help the San Francisco Examiner, SF Weekly continue our mission of providing free, local news

This week, I was faced with the heartbreaking task of reducing the hours — and therefore the pay — of the very journalists who report, write, edit and photograph that news.

San Francisco police begin issuing citations for failing to shelter in place

Officers to cite businesses, people who fail to heed warnings

Ride-hail drivers left idling by coronavirus shutdown looking for a lift

Bay Area ride-hail drivers are among those who have been hit hardest… Continue reading

Most Read