Jan 31, 2006
Ward Kimball of Grizzly Flats
When Noel Barrett auctioned off the huge collection of toys and mainly trains Ward Kimball collected over his lifetime, I was wistful, a bit sad, and filled with memories of Ward showing me his collection. He had two rooms--one for european models, one for american. Each room had large tabletop setup in the middle, surrounded by these shelves. You can make out in this photo the labelmaker-listings he affixed underneath each one. I remember the european room had as its centerpiece a breathtakingly big crystal station.
I knew next to nothing about trains large or small, but of course Ward's enthusiasm and the fascination of these beautiful miniatures made it an unforgettable experience. I wish it all could have gone intact to some museum, but I understand the need, and I'm sure each one is a treasure to its new owner. I myself was the winning bidder on a bisque "Skippy" figurine from the 1920s(a then-popular comic strip character).
My childhood best friend, Lara Rossignol, took this picture around 1983 or so--a couple of years after I'd made my own trip to Grizzly Flats, Ward's home/train depot/toy museum/art gallery in Arcadia, CA. Lara was a photography major at Art Center, and needed a special subject for an assignment; she got some amazing shots of Ward from her visit with him.
This particular small print has obviously had water damage(last year's rains here in Los Angeles--ugh--a lot of materials were ruined in my home studio), but I think the pose is good enough that it should be shared.
By the way, if you like cool photography and especially portraiture(as I do), check out Lara's archives. She is a skilled and intrepid shooter; her more famous portraits include Nicole Kidman, Nick Cage, Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones, June Carter Cash, Quentin Tarantino...to name only a few.
More blogs about animation.
trains, Ward Kimball