Aug 25, 2008

When the world and the Blairs were young...


Cartoon Brew mentioned this article in today's Los Angeles Times detailing the discovery among his possessions of the late Lee Blair's 1932 Olympic gold medal for "Water Colors and Drawing".

It's available to read online, but that edition doesn't include this striking photograph that appeared in the print version. The article by Times writer David Colker is an interesting one and worth reading--sadly, it mentions that the Blair's son Kevin (who I think might have been their only surviving child) recently passed away.

What a great image this is-though it's not from the period of the '32 games; I'd place it around 1938-40, given the cut of Lee's suit and Mary's outfit and appearance. It's credited to Jakub Mosur who's clearly reshot the original for publication. One wonders what other treasures the relatives have been able to pore through. Tantalizing thought for the animation historian and afficionado. Do go and read the article.

7 comments:

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

A really nice photo of the two. Thanks for putting it up!

Matt said...

See how confident they look. It's like they could take on the whole world. Thanks for the link and the pic!

Bill Perkins said...

Great pics. For more info on the Blair's and as well background info on several Disney art Directors and as well as the wellspring that a lot of animation folk came from you should try to get copies of :

The California Style - California Watercolor artists, Gordon T. McCelland, Jay
T. Last. Hillcrest press 1985

Chouinard - An Art Vision Betrayed - by Robert Perine - Artra publishing 1985


Try ABE books. Both great books and samples of stunning art work.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Blair's passing is, indeed, a sad note. I'm surprised it's not been more duly noted. He spent the better part of the last years of his short life protecting, cataloging, and promoting the Blair family's legacy and artwork.

RIP, Kevin Blair.

David Nethery said...

I did not know this :

"Although nearly forgotten, the Olympics held from 1912 through 1948 included arts competitions, with the winners receiving the same gold, silver and bronze medals as the athletes.

In addition to Blair's category -- he won for a watercolor called "Rodeo" -- there were medals for oil painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature."


What a great idea ! It is too bad this part of the Olympics has been discarded and forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The article lays the blame for eliminating the arts medals at the feet of Avery Brundage, who came up short in a sculpture competition years earlier.

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