The International Museum of Cartoon Art
The museum frequently mounts exhibitions of original animation art as well. The museum's Summer 1997 show, "24 Frames a Second: The Story of Animation," featured artwork from the productions of several major studios, including Walt Disney Productions, Fleischer Studios, Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera Productions. The exhibition was divided into six separate areas, each highlighting a different phase in the creative process. Storyboards, concept art, character model sheets, animation drawings, background art, cel set-ups and promotional posters were all featured in the show. Also included were three-dimensional models, mock-ups of nineteenth century experiments in animation and a timeline of significant events in animation history.
One of the museum's current exhibitions, "The Gems of Disney," contains approximately seventy pieces of animation art from the private collection of Mike and Jeanne Glad. The show covers the first twenty years of the Walt Disney Studio's existence, beginning in the mid-1920s and ending with Bambi in 1942. Like "24 Frames a Second," this exhibition features several different types of animation art, from inspirational paintings to finished cel set-ups. Included are pieces from classic shorts, such as Steamboat Willie, The Band Concert, and Orphans' Benefit. Several of Disney's "Silly Symphonies" are represented, including Flowers and Trees, the first true Technicolor cartoon. Also on display are works from the early Disney features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo.
Cartoons, comics and animated films are pieces of our culture that deserve to be preserved and exhibited. Like all of the popular arts, they reflect the ideas and attitudes of the society that produced them while simultaneously serving as entertainment. The International Museum of Cartoon Art will continue to educate the public about the art form and act as a repository for these works. Funds are currently being raised to complete construction of the museum's second floor, which will include a permanent gallery of animation art. For more information on the Museum, call (561) 391-2200.
Steve Charla is Collections Coordinator for the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida.