Thursday, November 1, 2012

75th Anniversary Exhibition Opens This Month at WDF Museum

When author J.B. Kaufman and Diane Disney Miller first came up with the idea for a book on the making of Snow White (The Fairest One of All), they weren't actually thinking about 2012 and it being the 75th anniversary of the film. It wasn't long, however, before the project led to not only a full-fledged art exhibition to mark the occassion, but a second book as well.

On June 12th of this year, the Walt Disney Family Museum issued a press release for their upcoming special presentation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic. In celebration of the diamond anniversary of the film, more than 200 original production works of art will be on display "including conceptual drawings, early character studies, detailed story sketches, and animation drawings."

Curated by Lella Smith, Creative Director of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, the exhibits are "organized by sequence through the progression of the movie, featuring some never-before-seen works of art with behind-the-scenes stories about the film’s production." It opens November 15, 2012 and runs until April 14, 2013.


J.B. Kaufman authored the exhibition catalog, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney's Classic Animated Film (seen in earlier post). Not long ago, he answered a few questions about his own involvement with the museum...

FILMIC LIGHT: How did you come to be on staff of the Walt Disney Family Foundation and what is your role?
JB KAUFMAN: My original connection with the Foundation was a loose one and revolved around researching and writing an earlier book, South of the Border with Disney. The Museum was in the planning stage at that time, and as the plans evolved, I eventually became a staff writer for the Foundation, working on text panels for the Museum and other projects.

FM: Did the writing of your two Snow White books involve you directly with the development of the exhibition at the Museum?
JB: No, actually I haven’t had much involvement with the Snow White exhibition itself. I’ve attended some of the meetings and consulted from time to time, but that’s about it. Lella Smith, the Creative Director of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, is the curator, and she and her staff, along with the Museum’s own curatorial staff, are the ones to be credited for this show.

FM: What can guests expect when they visit the Snow White exhibition?
JB: In the course of working on the catalog, I’ve had a comprehensive look at the art that will be featured in the show, and it’s a huge and amazing assortment. Some of it is drawn from the ARL, some from the Museum’s own collection, and some key items from the holdings of private collectors. People who really love Snow White will already be familiar with a few of these pieces, but there are also quite a number of exciting rarities that I don’t think have ever been displayed before. All in all, it adds up to an opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of this beautiful film.


View a PDF file of the promotional images released by the museum.


In conjunction with the Snow White exhibits, the museum also has a series of public programs planned including screenings of the film daily, a talk by J.B. Kaufman and Lella Smith, and even a 75th anniversary premiere party soiree of "glitz and glamour". See the program press release for the full listing of events and activities.

Museum Hours: 10am to 6pm, Wednesdays through Monday; closed on Tuesdays and the following public holidays: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Tickets:  $10 for Snow White only. Combination ticket which also includes general museum admission, $25 adults; $20 seniors and students; $15 children ages 6 to 17. Become a member and admission is free.

Where: The Presidio of San Francisco, 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129


  1. I've spent two full days at the museum in the past year! It is an amazing museum dedicated to Walt! I've yet to catch a movie in their theater.. Definitely want to make it back for one of the films!

    Going to have to make a trip during the Snow White exhibit! The only down side is no pictures are allowed which is very understandable and I never have the heart just to snap a quick one with my cell phone!

    1. It's terrific that you've been able to spend two full days there. I'm hoping to make my first visit during the Snow White exhibition if possible. It's a bummer about no photos, but as you mention, it's understandable.

  2. I'm 45 minutes away from SF, so it is a lot less of a journey to get to the WDF museum! I wish I was closer to Disneyland! I often imagine getting off work and just heading over and riding Pirates or Haunted mansion and it lifting my spirits! One day! Haha!

    The museum was a blast both times. There is a lot to look at and read. They have some interactive displays that have an overabundance of Disney information.. I could spend a few hours easily looking through it all in their media room. Bring a handkerchief.. you've been warned, or at least start the day off with bad allergies.. haha! The last part of the museum is very touching.

    1. I have a couple of Snow White handkerchiefs that will come in handy. :)