The second post in almost as many days that's really a redirection to the Animation Guild's blog, but this one's also on a subject that's always been of particular interest to me.
Wonderful caricatures of animation artists Tamargo and Zwicker by John Sparey-see the original, larger version at its home base, the TAG blog, from which this illustration is gratefully borrowed
Bea and Liz
Please go and give it a read. Honestly, I'm ashamed that I've never heard of either of these women before; if you'd asked me if there were any females in the animation department apart from ink and paint or layout, I'd have said I knew of only one off the top of my head, Ruth Kissane. Obviously there were at least several more and their stories have to be interesting by any measure simply because their presence in animation--and at the "best" studio, Disney's--was so rare.
When I was a teenager I wrote to Disney archives maven David Smith to ask him about Retta Scott, whose picture had appeared in Christopher Finch's "Art Of Walt Disney" and whose credit as animator on "Bambi" fascinated me. I asked Dave to tell me what her credits were, and if she was singular at Disney's as a woman in animation--the drawing, as apart from the inking end(keep in mind that virtually all of the so-called "ink and paint girls" were usually highly trained artists, having gone to the same schools the elite animators had).
Dave's answer was terse and offered only that yes, Retta Scott was "unique" as a female animator or assistant at Disney's until the 1970s; he mentioned nothing about such people as Bea Tamargo, Liz Zwicker or Ruth Kissane. I think this was likely due to their names not listed in on screen credits as "animators", but I really had been curious to know if women did any drawing jobs that involved animating...obviously, there were and they did. What a shame they weren't on the historical radar of the archives.
Frankly, the individual drawings and personal art I'd love to see is that of these girl veterans of Disney's; were they as strong artistically as many of the guys whose work we collect, and who had more important positions? Virtually impossible to know, unless someone somewhere saved grandma's stuff, which I certainly hope is the case. It seems certain that anyone in any capacity at Disney's had to be practically overqualified to get a job offer, especially after the war.