AMA and AISD collaborate on second Disney art exhibition, featuring “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and Academy Award-winning artist Eyvind Earle
As a complementary exhibit to Disney Art from Private Collections at the Arlington Museum of Art, the AMA has partnered with the Arlington Independent School District to open a second summer exhibition in Arlington featuring original art from the world of Disney animation.
The AISD exhibition includes colorful animation art from Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), as well as stunning, original paintings—some that have never been seen before—by Academy Award-winning Disney background artist Eyvind Earle.
The exhibition, which is at the AISD CVPA (Center for Visual and Performing Arts) just north of Downtown Arlington, is open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. through August 11, 2022. Admission is free.
In partnership Eyvind Earle Publishing and the Hilbert Museum at Chapman University, the exhibition at the AISD Center for Visual and Performing Arts features a number of original works by Eyvind Earle.
The collection of paintings and serigraphs is eye-popping, particularly for those familiar with Earle’s lasting influence on the “Disney style” of background illustration, which so famously creates a magical sense of place in every film.
Earle worked as a background painter for Walt Disney Animation Studios from 1951-1966. During that time, he created worlds in which dozens of iconic Disney characters called home in films such as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and the highly acclaimed Sleeping Beauty, for which he created all of the styling, background, and colors.
Earle was been widely heralded for his experimentation and distinct graphic styling both at Disney and throughout his life as an artist. His innovative approach continues to influence the look of Disney animated films, including Pocahontas and Frozen, and other artists and animators worldwide.
Frame by Frame: Collecting Roger Rabbit
By all accounts, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a masterpiece, a seamless blending of live action and animation, humor, writing, visuals, and outstanding performances.
Andreas Deja, the Disney Legend artist and primary "collector" behind the AMA's Disney Art from Private Collections, was Roger Rabbit's animator.
Critics and audiences still consider the film to be “groundbreaking,” crediting the film for renewing interest in animation filmmaking, spearheading a modern American animation movement, and ushering in the “Disney Renaissance.”
Besides all its technical achievements, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is remarkable for another reason: It was the first time the most famous characters from Disney and Warner Bros. shared the screen together.
The original works on display at the AISD Center for Visual and Performing Arts features dozens of hand-painted works from the production of the film.
All of the works come directly from the private collection of long-time animation art fan and collector, Bill Heeter.
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit? changed the industry,” Heeter said in a 2018 interview with the Appleton Post-Crescent. “It showed people that animation could be clever. It could be really well executed. The integration of acting and cartoon characters, the interaction between actors and cartoon characters was amazing. It was clever. It was well written. All those things came together in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
Shared in partnership with the Arlington Museum of Art and Arlington ISD. Featured image is "Wind Breaks" by Eyvind Earle.