Mary Blair started her artist career as an animator at MGM Studios in 1934, a year after graduating from Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles a year earlier. In 1940 she started to work as a conceptual artist at the Disney Studios.
During her initial Disney career Blair worked on the animated classics Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. Her skills influenced Eyvind Earle and other animators who worked on Sleeping Beauty. Blair left the Disney Studios 1953 to become an illustrator of children’s books and also advertisements.
Walt Disney again called upon Mary Blair to help design an attraction he was commissioned to build for the 1964-65 New York’s World Fair. The result of this project was It’s A Small World, which Blair helped design the exterior facade and the color and lighting of the attraction.
Along with It’s A Small World, the exterior walls of Tomorrowland were decorated with tile murals of Blair’s artwork in 1967.
Blair passed away in 1978 of a cerebral hemorrhage. In 1991 she post-posthumously was named a Disney Legend. Along with this honor, she is also celebrated at Disneyland inside It’s A Small World, as one doll is dressed to look like her. Happy Birthday to the one and only Mary Blair.
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