Mary Blair

Known for her use of color and abstract style, Mary Blair was a force for change at the Walt Disney company in the 1940s and 50s. Beginning her career at the company in 1940, Blair worked on art for some of Disney’s earlier films including Dumbo and an early version of Lady and the Tramp. During a two month research tour to South America with Walt and Lillian Disney, Blair used her watercolors to capture the beauty of the Latin countries. Walt was impressed with Blair’s work, and she quickly became one of his favorite artists. Blair continued to work for Disney for over a decade, and color styled classic favorites like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland, introducing the company to modern art.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the Darling children over the dark city of London with the help of pixie dust.

At RR Auction, animation enthusiasts are always on the lookout for Mary Blair concept art, and pieces from well known Disney films have been buyers’ favorites. This concept art of Peter Pan taking the Darling children on an evening flying lesson over London sold for $34,479 in July 2020. In 1953’s Peter Pan, the title character leads the Darling children over London before coming to rest on the hand of Big Ben. Blair’s depiction of London’s darkness makes the smaller details – such as Big Ben’s glow, the shining moon and stars, and the sparkling trail of pixie dust – stand out to the viewer.

The fairy godmother magically transforms Cinderella's torn dress into the iconic elegant ball gown. This painting sold for a high bid of $13,651.
The fairy godmother magically transforms Cinderella’s torn dress into the iconic elegant ball gown. This painting sold for a high bid of $13,651.

Blair’s art also brought to life Walt Disney’s favorite moment in animation – Cinderella’s dress transformation. In this concept art for Cinderella, Blair shows the Fairy Godmother turning the title character’s tattered dress into a lavish sparkling light pink ball gown. Blair’s work was instrumental in the development of what would become Walt’s favorite scene of animation. The dreamy color palette in this piece and Blair’s other concepts arts largely made their way into the final product.

RR Auction’s art and animation auctions will bring your Mary Blair pieces to the eyes of ecstatic collectors looking for artwork from the Disney legend. Contact us at 800-937-3880 or fill out our consignment form below to get a free appraisal on your items today!

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