mary blair peter pan

It’s a Mary Blair World

Blair was an Oklahoma-born artist who climbed the ranks of Disney’s art department in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, eventually designing Disney’s “It’s a Small World” in 1964. A graduate of LA’s legendary Chouinard School, her facades bring to mind the work of Alexander Girard, Charles and Ray Eames, and Stig Lindberg; all playing in a similar way with stacked shapes and kinetic sculpture. An imaginative painter and designer, Blair helped introduce a modernist style to Walt Disney and his studio, and for nearly 30 years, he touted her work for his films and theme parks. She has more recently been referred to as the mastermind behind animated films like “Cinderella,” “Alice and Wonderland” and “Peter Pan,” although her credit on these films was often “color stylist.” Animator Marc Davis, who put Blair’s inspiring use of color on a par with Henri Matisse, recalled, “She brought modern art to Walt in a way that no one else did.“ Below is a sampling of her architectural work and film concept paintings.