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Know your Artist – Mary Blair

Mary Blair (1911-1978) was a designer, color stylist and concept artist who contributed immensely to the look and feel of some of the most path breaking animated films created by Walt Disney in animation’s Golden Age.

Mary graduated from the Chouinard School of Art in 1933 wanting to be a watercolor artist. Her first job was as a cell painter at Ub Iwerks studio. Later, she and her husband, Lee Blair would both work at the Walt Disney Studio.

Walt Disney was impressed by her painting style and assigned her as art supervisor on animated feature films Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. She would work on the colour styling and concept art of major films like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Her influence can be seen clearly in the completed films.

Blair left Disney to work on graphic design and illustrations. Her Golden Books and Hallmark cards were very popular. Later at the request of Walt Disney she created murals for Disney parks and hotels.

Mary Blair had a flat and graphic style of painting in which she used vibrant colours and abstract forms which were very appealing to the eye. Her art would capture the emotion of the scene and make the animated movies an unforgettable visual experience. Do check out more of her work at

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