Every child knows that Disney’s animated films are works of art. Now, one of the world’s biggest art museums agrees.
New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts will hang images from animated Disney classics on its walls this winter. The exhibit, entitled “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts,” will include stills from Disney films and the works of European art that inspired their visual style.
“In mounting The Met’s first-ever exhibition devoted to Walt Disney and his studios’ oeuvre, it was important for us to explore his sources of inspiration as well as to recognize that his studio’s animated interpretations of European fairytales have become a lens through which many view Western art and culture today,” Wolf Burchard, the exhibition’s curator, said in a statement,” the exhibit’s online description read. “Our fresh look on this material, which prompts an effervescent dialogue between the drawings and illustrations of some of the most talented artists in the Walt Disney Animation Studios and a rich array of the finest 18th-century furniture and porcelain, brings to life the humor, wit, and ingenuity of French Rococo decorative arts.”
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The display will explore the ways that artistry and technology have developed throughout Disney animation history, including more than 140 production artworks, works on paper, and selected film footage from the Disney archives and museums.
Fans will learn about the movements of European art that inspired the visuals in many of the classic animated features, including nods to Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959) and rococo adornments on items like clocks and pots that inspired Beauty and the Beast (1991).
The exhibition marks both the 30th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast premiering in theatres and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in Florida.
The exhibit will run from December 10 through March 6, 2022 and is free with admission to the Met.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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