If there’s one thing that Walt Disney is known for, it’s his hand-drawn animations. His studio has produced some of the most iconic films in history, and now The Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to explore their origins.
“Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” is the first exhibition of its kind to explore how 18th-century art, furnishings, and objects influenced Disney’s films. It will be on display from December 10, 2021–March 6, 2022.
According to The Met, the exhibition will showcase works by “masters such as François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.” It will also show how Disney incorporated these works into his films, such as the 1937 production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs .
In a press release, The Met wrote: “That film is a visual feast of Old-World elegance, its storybook atmosphere inspired by the fairy-tale illustrations of 19th-century artists.”
As part of the show, Disney fans will get to see “furnishings from 18th-century interiors, including wallpapers, porcelain vases and figurines, furniture in the collection of The Walt Disney Family Foundation.”
Renée Fleming—a soprano who has won a Grammy, a National Medal of Arts, and an Emmy—will also perform arias from the films alongside The Little Mermaid , Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin , Pocahontas , and Tangled .
In total, 30 films will be featured in the exhibition, and they will be accompanied by works from artists such as Nicolas Lancret, Antonio Maria Vassallo, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.Gisèle Bergey—The Walt Disney Family Foundation’s senior curator of art—said: “We are honored to lend our collection of 18th-century decorative arts to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for this landmark exhibition. It has been a delight for our Foundation’s art team to explore the studio’s archives and uncover the many connections between Disney’s films and the visual culture of the past.”