It’s a big day for Disney fans, with an auction and exhibition set to open that’s filled to the brim with some 1,500 Disneyland and Walt Disney World archival materials and retired objects. A History of Disneyland & Walt Disney World is open to the public at Van Eaton Galleries until a two-day auction event, where Disneyland memorabilia will go under the hammer on Saturday, December 7, and Walt Disney World the following Sunday, December 8.
Fans of the parks can enjoy treasures from their inception and making, including original studio file copy of Walt Disney’s first pitch documents for financing Disneyland park. There is a hand-colored map that constitutes one of the first renderings of the park, and the prospectus is valued between $10,000 and $20,000, due to its cache and rarity. A ton of other original promotional materials are included in the auction, some dating back to the 1950s.
In addition, a few pieces of the park are for sale as well, including animatronic “Tiki Birds” from the “Enchanted Tiki Room” at Walt Disney World. The birds retain all their original mechanics, and are still able to sing and move along to the Enchanted Tiki Room Theme Song — these enchanted creatures are expected to go for the very real price of $80,000–$100,000). For those dying to see behind the magic, a set of construction slides by Marvin Davis (estimate is $600–$800) show the actual building in progress of iconic Disneyland structures like the Sleeping Beauty castle. Fans of the Haunted Mansion ride will scream for two original hand-painted “Stretch Paintings” from the Haunted Mansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (estimate is $100,000–$150,000). There are also attraction posters, models for Tomorrowland, and actual carriages from rides like Space Mountain and the People Mover.
There’s even an opportunity to buy one of the tragically racist singing dolls from “It’s a Small World” — no longer quite so fitting in our relatively more woke world. Disney — the brand and the man — has a checkered past when it comes to matters of ethnic representation, from the allegations of antisemitic leanings on the part of Walt Disney personally, to a history of appalling racist stereotypes in Disney movies. While “Small World” might be seen as conveying a progressive message about global unity in the context of its time, the insanely reductive representations it made of world culture and ethnicities in the process are jaw-dropping from a modern vantage point.
Complexities of the Disney legacy notwithstanding, it is hard to imagine a US upbringing in the last 50 years that was not somehow touched by the Disney canon of animated fairytales and magical, swashbuckling adventures. Even this salty dog was touched to see the original concept art for the Peter Pan ride entrance mural as part of the collection; it called to mind the first time that me, my sister, our mother, and a family friend flew out the nursery window in a pirate ship conveyance that took to the sky above a miniaturized London nightscape. In the moments the mechanism lifted from the track, it felt like we really did fly. This auction will raise and answer the question: What price can we put on the wonder of childhood?
A History of Disneyland & Walt Disney World continues at Van Eaton Galleries (13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, Calif.) through Friday, December 6, with a two-day auction event on the following weekend of December 7–8.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
An Artist’s Hopeful Vision of the Ocean
Indonesian artist Mulyana crafts a tactile, mystical world in which fish, whales, and coral reefs coexist with sea monsters.
An Introduction to “Afrogallonism”
Serge Attukwei Clottey explores Ghanaian culture and identity through discarded jerrycans and other found materials.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
A Ride With Liz Cohen
Nothing in the artist’s personal biography could predict that she’d one day become a car builder and bikini model.
LA’s Hammer Museum Wants to Be Seen
After two decades of renovations, the museum that calls itself a “well-kept secret” reopens with a mission to be more visible.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
AI-Generated “Dope Francis” Fools the Internet
Many thought the picture of Pope Francis in a puffer jacket, created using Midjourney, was the real deal.
1,400-Year-Old Mural of Two-Faced Man Found in Peru
Historians hypothesize that the Moche paintings could represent artists’ attempts to experiment with portraying movement or narrative.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Louvre Shutters as Pension Plan Protests Intensify
President Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 has sparked widespread demonstrations across the country.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.