Illustrator of the Week - Mary Blair

Mary Blair was born in 1911 as Mary Robinson in McAlester, oklahoma. As a small child her parents moved them to Texas and then California. She attended San Jose State College and won a scholarship to the renowned Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. In 1934 she married another artist, Lee Everett Blair who was only 20 days older than herself. After college both Blairs began to work in the animation industry, joining the Ib Iwerks studio. Lee was the one who started working for Walt Disney studios first where he was joined by his wife in 1940. She worked briefly on art for Dumbo and an early version of Lady and the Tramp. However, it wasn't until she traveled with Walt and Lillian Disney to South Africa on an artist's research tour that she really started her career with Disney. Mary and Lee did the concept art for Saludos Amigos and the Three Baballeros, with which mary was credited as the art supervisor. After that Mary went on to work as the concept artist and color stylist for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Songs of the South, and Peter Pan. Mary left Disney after the completion of Peter Pan and worked as a freelance artist, illustrating for Golden Books. Her books included Baby's House, I Can Fly, and Little Golden Book of Verses. Mary was also the art designer for It's a Small World and created the mural at the Tomorrowland Promenade.