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  1. #1

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    Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    I've substantially updated the Yesterland entry about the Mary Blair Tile Murals in Disneyland's Tomorrowland.

    Link to Mary Blair Tile Murals in Yesterland.

    What are your thoughts about Mary Blair murals in Tomorrowland? Did you prefer the Mary Blair murals or the subsequent murals?
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    I miss the Mary Blair tiles mural. She was considered to be one of the best imagineers and designers. Thanks Werner.
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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    When they were there, I thought that they were out-of-place. I had some thought that representational art should be upstaged by architecture or function.

    When they were gone, I realized how much they contributed. How well they tied Tomorrowland with Fantasyland. How they gave a "world in motion" a human scale. How they juxtaposed primitivism with technology -- almost like the line from Gibson: "If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude."

    I don't know if it's really time to bring them back, but I like the thought that they are hidden, not gone.

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    As an art form, the Mary Blair murals are far superior than what is currently in Tomrorowland, however, I don't think they fit in Tomorrowland. They're far too reminiscent of "it's a small world" and from photos, they seem strikingly out of place with the Peoplemover moving by, and the AstroJets soaring overhead.

    But my opinion cant' be entirely justified - I never got to see the South Mural, as it went away before I was born, and I have no memory of the North Mural. With that said, maybe the murals did work in Tomorrowland and photos simply don't do them justice. I wouldn't know though - as I'm simply too young to remember them.

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    These Yesterland updates are simply awesome! It brings back so many memories of the joyful optimism that Tomorrowland once brought. I remember going by on the Peoplemover and the narrator talked about the murals as a "hope for tomorrow" or "children of tomorrow" or something like that. I myself was just a kid so it really filled me with tons of optimism. They could never be brought back today because they wouldn't fit anymore. Tomorrowland doesn't have that sense of optimism and even when they finish rebuilding it, it will be fun but it won't have that hopeful feeling of the future that the 1967 Tomorrowland had.

    Tomorrowland today is more about the modern-day future since it pretty much had to built from the ground up after Pressler was done with it. The future of 2006 is far different from 1966 since back then they hadn't even landed on the moon yet. The "future" of 2006 is pretty much already here with cars that park themselves and computers accomplishing amazing tasks in almost everything we use. In essence, we have no future because what more could anyone want than the technology we currently have. I'm sure back in 1967 they had high hopes for what was to come, but in an era where people are tired of going to the moon and cracking the secrets of the human genome gets all of about 10 minutes total air time on the news, people just aren't impressed by the future anymore.

    And also, I'd just like to point out that Mary Blair is hands down the greatest artist of our time. I don't know where people get off paying millions for Picasso and Monet paintings because Mary Blair's work far exceeds theirs in my opinion. She singlehandedly created an entire look and feel for a decade at Disney's animation department. I am not a big fan of artwork by any means, but her art was truly that, art. Walt Disney had a gifted eye for talent and he was wise to give Mary Blair such huge influence over his projects. I get incredibly sad when I remember, like so many of the original Disney artists, she's not with us anymore, but her work still lives on in things like "it's a small world" and Disney's 1950's animations. Thank you for bringing much-deserved attention to such a talented and gifted woman. Her contributions to Disney, and my own childhood, cannot be overestimated and you have my sincere gratitude for remembering her and her work at your site.

    Keep up the excellent work!

  6. #6

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    While I think the murals are beautiful, and may or may not have been out of place in Tomorrowland, I think this is the most important point of the article: "Walt Disney personally chose to have Mary Blairís art bring optimism and joy to the 1967 New Tomorrowland."

    Maybe this should be the benchmark by which future changes take place in Tomorrowland. The future is already here. We have put a man on the moon, we have the internet. We have cell phones. What we should all hope for is a future that promises optimism and joy, based on our current technology, and technology yet to be developed. We should keep this in mind as they continue to develop Tomorrowland.

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    As beautiful as they were, I too believe that they seem a bit out of place. I remember seeing them not sure if it was both but I remember them none the less. I lenjoyed them but felt they were a bit out of place. Although I was very young I dont think it mattered to me then, they just reminded me of Its A Small World and I couldnt wait to go on that ride! Now looking back I am ok with them not being there!

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Put me in the camp of people who LOVE Mary Blair and her work, but who think that the Tomorrowland Murals just don't work for Tomorrowland.

    It would have been great if they could have been preserved and moved to another location. Perhaps to the Disneyland Hotel area.
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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Even as a kid, I didn't think those murals fit in ("happy spirit of children in today's world and in tomorrow's" said the Peoplemover...gimme a break). I think using "Art" as a piece of the future is a great and insightful idea.I now get the idea of optimism as a part of it all. I wish I could say the same for the new murals. From what I've heard, the Mural on the Star Tours side was ripped out and the one that was done in 1998 was only damaged where the new mural connects to the wall. I seem to recall being at the park one day and seeing that. Sad in any event. Mary Blair and all the others that worked on it were credited by first name, a Disneyland first. I loved reading the names and wondering who they were. (Bob and Ed were ones that stand out.)
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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Well, at least some parts of the mural have been removed, since pieces of broken tiles have been used in the Bella Notte restaurant at Disneyland Resort Paris. So, it seems that the murals at Tommorowland aren't intact...

  11. #11

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Werner, you forgot to include that in 2005 the "Yesterland" mural on the Circlevision side of Tomorrowland got replaced with a mural that has Space Station 77 and other planets and rockets, coinciding with the opening of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.





    So, now the murals do match each other. In my opinion, they capture the feel of Tomorrowland better than Blair's did.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    I agree with 2DieFR, I like them much more than the old blair ones. I'm not saying the old one's weren't fantastic pieces of art, I just don't like the look of them in Tomorrowland at all. The newer ones are stunningly good looking.

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Mary Blair murals should have been moved out of Tomorrowland long ago BUT still seen in a different location. I'm glad we have new murals in Tomorrowland that actually have a space theme. I also remember when they repainted the People Mover cars so they weren't 1967 telephone colors. Colors and art styles can be too trendy to evoke future thoughts. I'm a little concerned with all of the blue being used today. I have a feeling it will wear out soon. Too much of a good thing.
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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    Quote Originally Posted by mushufan View Post
    Mary Blair murals should have been moved out of Tomorrowland long ago BUT still seen in a different location. I'm glad we have new murals in Tomorrowland that actually have a space theme. I also remember when they repainted the People Mover cars so they weren't 1967 telephone colors. Colors and art styles can be too trendy to evoke future thoughts. I'm a little concerned with all of the blue being used today. I have a feeling it will wear out soon. Too much of a good thing.
    The problem is that it really isn't possible to move 90-foot-wide ceramic tile murals (that are cemented to a building) to a different location.

    I agree that colors go through periods of being fashionable and unfashionable. Mary Blair had a brilliant sense of color. When she designed the 1967 Tomorrowland murals in the mid-1960's, she used colors that weren't particularly fashionable at the time. But by the mid-1970's, the tones of the mural (especially the background which was similar to the then-popular "harvest gold" appliance color) started to look quite fashionable. That meant that by the mid-1980's, the murals looked dated as the 1970's colors fell out of fashion.

    And it was in the mid-1980's that Star Tours was being planned. The south mural (the one on the Star Tours side) went down almost to ground level, ending in a low planter. For Star Tours, the planter was removed and openings were cut into the wall for a gift shop. That meant cutting large holes into the mural, essentially destroying the south mural. Hey, nobody would miss that dated, 1970's-looking mural, right? (Wrong.)

    I'm glad the two current murals, both with space themes, go well together. There's even some wit to the north mural, with its Space Mountain-esque space stations and the spacecraft that look oddly like Buzz Lightyear's box in Toy Story.

    But I don't think space art, as a genre, is particularly wonderful—nor that space art is fundamentally better for Tomorrowland.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 12-13-2006 at 09:36 AM.
    Werner Weiss
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  15. #15

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    Re: Dec. 12, 2006: Mary Blair Tile Murals

    [QUOTE=But I don't think space art, as a genre, is particularly wonderful—nor that space art is fundamentally better for Tomorrowland.[/QUOTE]

    It seems more appropriate to me than the Blair murals ever did. They never fit the color scheme of Tomorrowland '67, and looked like Little Golden Book Art (and for a good reason).

    Don't get me wrong. I understand the intrinsic artistic value of the Blair murals. I just never thought they were appropriate for the land, and have enjoyed the subsequent murals even more.

    I think it's more a matter of personal taste than anything.

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