Friday, August 18, 2017

Art Corner Exterior, October 1963

The first photo in today's post was a nice find - it's a beautiful shot of the legendary Tomorrowland Art Corner building; a feature that very few people captured on film. The structure itself is not much more than a steel shed, but the fa├žade has those squares (windows? I'm really not sure) of colorful abstract shapes, reminiscent of paper cutouts by Matisse. The large window in the lower left has a large shield with what appears to be smaller examples of medieval heraldry (maybe). 

Of course the Art Corner is famous for selling cels from films like "Alice and Wonderland" and "Sleeping Beauty" for a few dollars. Setups with matching background paintings were more, but still a bargain by today's reckoning. Since this photo is from October 1963, they might have had lots of cels from the previous animated feature, "101 Dalmatians" (1961). "The Sword in the Stone" would be released in December of '63, so in just a few months guests could have their very own cels of Wart, Merlin, and Madam Mim. 

Meanwhile, check out the souvenir hats in the foreground! Barely visible above the dyed ostrich plumes we can just see a part of the "Art Corner" sign.


Here's an old publicity photo showing the Art Corner - check out the thousands of dollars in attraction posters in the windows!!


This nice lady is posing for a portrait - not too far from the location of the first photo. The building behind her was where "The Art of Animation" exhibit was located (from May 28, 1960 thru September 5, 1966). Animation, eh? I've heard of it. I don't think it will catch on. Sock puppets are where it's at, mark my words.

Before that, guests would have seen the "Satellite View of America" - boy do I wish I had a few photos of that one!  


9 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

Nice images today. Ouuuh - that 'showroom window' - tossing-around attraction posters as if they were nothing more than tissue paper packing for some lovely trinket; when it's the posters, themselves, that are the real objects of desire.

Thanks, Major.

Scott Lane said...

Oh to have a time machine and a couple hundred bucks...

Gnometrek said...

Speaking of time travel what are those weird shadows to the left. Far left looks like a silhoutte of a women in a bonnet. A little to the right a shadow engulfing the man standing in front of it? Eerie....

Anonymous said...

Major, these are striking photos. I don't recall ever seeing this building so clearly, it's always been in the background of the wider shots. I never knew what was in it. It's a brilliant facade. Thanks for the detailed description.

Those window patterns might have been back-painted on the glass. At that time, I'm not sure how else it might have been done. Of course, today we have several techniques for decorative glazing, plastic glazing, mylar interlayers laminated between panes of glass, tints, etc. to accomplish this kind of look.

Animation art has become a big deal. I was proud of my daughter's choice of a cel from Alice in Wonderland for her living room. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all.

Disney has now automated the sales of certain attraction poster reproductions. You can pick them from lists in several retail locations in the parks, specify a size and frame type and drop-ship them to your home. Of course, none of the discontinued attractions like Space Station X1 are available.

That lady in pic 3 is really styling, those glasses though.

JG

K. Martinez said...

Very nice pic of the original building facade. When looking westward one see the cumulative effect of both the exhibit buildings east-facing facades of abstract shapes, the Hobby Flight Circle front and center and the Astro-jets nearby, the original Tomorrowland really comes together. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember when a model of "1955 Disneyland" was made and put on display in the Opera House during the park's 50th anniversary. Someone that obviously knew their Disney history quite well (that's sarcasm) put these brightly colored east-facing facades at the front entrance of Tomorrowland, facing west. And it took them a while to fix it. Does anyone else remember that? By the way, that model is still on display, but you can no longer walk around it.

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. @ Gnometrek.....those shadows are CREEPY!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, I felt the same way. I’ll bet they crumpled up those posters and threw them in the garbage once the display was changed. THE PAIN!

Scott Lane, that’s the dream of every collector…

Gnometrek, I think you might be watching too many scary movies?! ;-)

JG, I’ve seen one or two good photos of that building, but believe me, I was very happy to find this one. I agree that the designs could be back-painted on the glass, though it is hard to say for sure. My mom’s cousin still has her “Alice in Wonderland” cel from the Art Corner… I tried to talk her into selling it to me, but it went nowhere. I know that there is a whole industry based on repros of the posters, but I am a snob and only want the real thing! Of course I doubt I could afford another one these days - for once I got lucky and started collecting before today’s insane prices.

K. Martinez, although pre-1967 Tomorrowland is sometimes criticized as being rather boring, I love it. Maybe it’s just the prospect of seeing all of those nutty sponsored exhibits that I would want to see!

TokyoMagic!, I had never heard about how those Tomorrowland buildings on that “Disneyland 1955” model were turned around! What a blunder. I wish I could see photos of it, with the error, and how it looks now. Interesting!

Connie Moreno said...

These are great shots!