“Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” Coming to The Met in December 2021

Whether you are local or traveling to New York City this winter, there is an incredible new exhibition you must check out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! This new exhibit details how French art and design inspired Walt Disney and the films of the Walt Disney Animation Studios. It is set to open on December 10 and run through March 6, 2022.


Entitled “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts,” this exhibition will be the first-ever at The Met to explore the work of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hand-drawn animation. The exhibition aims to highlight the parallels between the Disney Studios’ creations and artistic models, as well as explore Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art. It will also showcase French motifs and their use in Disney films and theme parks.


Forty works of 18th-century European decorative arts — from tapestries and furniture to Boulle clocks and Sèvres porcelain — will be featured alongside 150 production artworks and works on paper from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and The Walt Disney Family Museum.


The studio’s incredible developments in technology and artistry will be showcased through film spanning Walt Disney’s lifetime and beyond. The exhibition will highlight references to European visual culture in Disney animated films, including nods to “Gothic Revival architecture in Cinderella (1950), medieval influences on Sleeping Beauty (1959), and Rococo-inspired objects brought to life in Beauty and the Beast (1991).” The exhibition marks the 30th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast’s animated theatrical release.


“Inspiring Walt Disney” is organized in collaboration with The Wallace Collection in London, where the exhibition will also open in spring 2022. The exhibition will be organized thematically and broadly chronologically. The largest section is devoted to “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), well known for Rococo-style objects coming to life.

Will you be attending this exciting new exhibit at the Met? Let us know in the comments!

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