Mary Blair

Mary Blair ( born October 21, 1911 in McAlester, Oklahoma, † July 26, 1978 in Soquel, California, native Mary Robinson) was an American graphic designer, known for her work for Walt Disney Productions.


Mary Blair was born in 1911 in McAlester, Oklahoma. Thanks to a scholarship she could study at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles, where she graduated in 1933. In 1934, she married Lee Everett Blair, also a graphic designer and animator. She began her career in the animation department of Metro -Goldwyn- Mayer, before moving in 1940 to the Walt Disney Studios, where her husband was working. In 1941, she traveled with Walt Disney and a number of other animators of the studio to South America. Result of this journey were the film The Three Caballeros in Samba Fever (1943) and The Three Caballeros (1944 ), for which Blair took over as artistic director. Especially her way of dealing with colors, was able to convince it. In the following years she worked on Disney films, among others Uncle Remus' Wonderland (1946 ) Make Mine Music (1946 ), music, dance and rhythm (1948 ), A champion to fall in love (1949 ), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad ( 1949).

When Mary Blair's main work is considered their concept design for the movies Cinderella (1950 ) Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan ( 1953).

After completion of Peter Pan Blair left the Walt Disney Studios and became self-employed as a graphic designer. She created several advertising campaigns for different companies, stage sets, and the illustrations of children's books.

At the request of Walt Disney, who admired Blair's handling of colors, they designed the attraction "it's a small world " for the UNICEF Pavilion at the New York World's Fair 1964. Upon completion of the World Exhibition this ride to Disneyland was brought in California. (Copies of this attraction were later built in Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort Paris. )

Next, she designed a mural for 1967 Disneyland's Tomorrowland -themed area (which have been removed due to renovation work now ), and 1971 for Disney's Contemporary Resort Hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Mary Blair died on July 26, 1978 in Soquel, California. Postmortem was Blair in 1991 honored by the Walt Disney Company as a Disney Legend.

Work (selection)


  • Dumbo (1941 )
  • The Three Caballeros in Samba Fever (1943 )
  • The Three Caballeros (1944 )
  • Uncle Remus' Wonderland ( 1946)
  • Make Mine Music ( 1946)
  • Cheerful, Free, fun (1947 )
  • So Dear to My Heart (1948 )
  • Music, Dance and Rhythm ( 1948)
  • A champion to fall in love (1949 )
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad ( 1949)
  • Cinderella (1950 )
  • Alice in Wonderland (1951 )
  • The Little House (1952 )
  • Peter Pan ( 1953)

Book Illustration

  • I Can Fly by Ruth Krauss (1950 )
  • Baby's House of Gelolo McHugh (1950 )
  • The Golden Book of Little Verses by Miriam Clark Potter (1953 )
  • The New Golden Song Book by Miriam Clark Potter (1955 )
  • Walt Disney's Peter Pan by Dave Barry; Ridley Pearson ( 2009)

Theme Park

  • It 's a small world, UNICEF Pavilion, World Expo 1964 New York, now part of Disneyland
  • Fiesta, Mexico Pavilion of Epcot World Showcase
  • Mosaic, Disney 's Contemporary Resort