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.
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donnachada said...

That is one fabulous picture Jenny. Thanks for sharing it.

justin said...

Hi Jenny,

Great photo of Ward Kimball.
It's been a little while since I've dropped by. So much reading and catching up to do. Thanks for sharing all of this stuff.

Jenny Lerew said...

Hey there, D.!

willipino said...

awesome picture. thanks for posting it.

Jenny Lerew said...

You're most welcome, willipino!

MikeS said...

You posts are a wonderful read and the treasure trove of images you have are great! This one of Ward is a fine example; thanks for sharing it with us!

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