Jun 11, 2008

Joe Grant-tile designer

Diaries reader and LA Times historian/writer/blogger Larry Harnisch directed me to an Ebay auction for the item pictured here, which has got to be extremely rare. I was surprised when I won it without much competition, as the signature affirms it's designed by the great Joe Grant, onetime head of Disney Animation's "model department"(what's known now as visual development) and until his death at age 96 a few years ago once again employed as story man and resident genius at Disney's. His influence over nearly seventy years of animation history has been profound.

When Grant left Disney in the late 40s he started his own business which included designing decorative tiles such as this. I'd never seen one before, and think it's a wonderful thing measuring six inches square. Apparently it's the right-hand part of a pair titled "The Gossips", to be installed one guesses on a splashboard in a kitchen, dining/pantry area or some other nook where a tile accent would go. Neat drawing, nice color, lovely loose lines. I'll bet there are collectors out there with more than a few examples of these--at least I hope so.

Just a little something to share. I apologize for the inferior photography provided via iPhone; I tried for a clear closeup of the signature as well and failed. But at least one gets an idea.


Matterhorn1959 said...

Neat piece. Have you seen a catalog for the company?

Kristy Gordon said...

Woaaahh! What an amazing find!! It's so nice!!

mark kennedy said...

wow.....unbelievable find!

Bob Logan said...

That is sooooo cool!

I've actually wanted to design tile with my brother-in-law. It's neat to see what an actual drawing looks like on tile. Boy, the colors burn in nicely!

I can't wait for your book!

Look's pretty amazing!


Bobby Pontillas said...

Wow that is a really beautiful sketch. The shapes are appealing and I love her chinadoll-like profile.

carrie_m said...

I have 3 of these tiles - one right hand "Gossip" (the same as this one) and two others... I was wondering how much the ebay auctions ended at on them? I cannot find any information other than your blog regarding these tiles!! Would appreciate any information you can give me on them.
Many Thanks,


Leslie R said...

I'm clearing out an elderly aunt's apartment and found a 2-tile set called "Bashful Beau" by Grant. I'm also curious if they have a known value (although I'm going to keep them!).