Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Case of the Mysterious Artwork

Several years ago I was approached by a reader of the blog who had a very unusual piece of artwork.  He wrote the following:

"My father was a member of the press who interviewed Walt Disney several times from 1947 on and always managed to bring home little bits and pieces of Disney wonderfulness, particularly after I came into the picture in 1950.  Among them was this pencil drawing which we never had properly framed. It was just stored down in our basement and I would take it out and look at it from time to time. It seemed to be some kind of work in progress, but what it actually is, or was, or was supposed to be is still a mystery to me."
It certainly looked like a Disney-created piece, but I had never seen this image before.  Flash forward a few months later and this piece came up for sale, and I acquired it!  I still didn't know what it was, but I liked it.  It is done in a combination of pencil and pen & ink on tissue or vellum.
Then two weeks ago I received this Italian newsprint magazine (again with the Italians!) called La Domenica del Corriere.
On pages 10 and 11 there is an article and images from Disney's Alice, with some grabs from the film and a nice image of Kathy,
and just look at the images near the top in lavender!
Finally the mystery is solved!  It was art prepared for magazine articles about the film and probably specifically addressing the similarities to the Tenniel art.  I've still not come across this art in a US publication, but it must exist somewhere!
The only differences between the original art and this published version is the captions on the Mad Tea Party.  But other than that (and the fact that it was published in color, pretty common), it is indeed the art in question.  Cool.

2 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

Amazing that you found an article in an Italian magazine with the very artwork you were looking for. The odds against it must have been pretty huge! Or maybe not.

Hayley said...

I love your collector detective work! And what a particularly excellent piece of artwork.

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