The ToonSeum and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh present Animation B.C. (Before Computers!). Animation B.C. features a century of animation art and artifacts, including a rare production sketch of Gertie the Dinosaur created circa 1914, heralded as the first animated character. The show includes original storyboards, background paintings, production cels and sketches from some of the most popular 2d animated characters in film, television and commercials. Characters old and new are featured, from Mickey to Spongebob!
Animation B.C. gives a glimpse into the hand crafted artistry and process behind these classic characters. The exhibit is much more than drawings and cels, rare sheet music from the Road Runner give an insight into the important role music plays in animation. Artifacts on display include a desk from Disney’s Hyperion Studio. The desk was used by Fantasia director Paul Satterfield on projects including Bambi, Fantasia, and the Ugly Duckling.
While there are many great characters and pieces in this show, Gertie is the real star. Winsor McCay, an early innovator in the field of animation, was no doubt inspired by the dinosaur mania that swept the country in the early 1900’s. This fascination with dinosaurs was fueled primarily by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and their discovery of the diplodocus. Gertie, herself a diplodocus, toured the vaudeville circuit in 1914 along with creator Winsor McCay in a unique show combining a live on stage performance and animation in a show that wowed audiences, and left them bewildered at what was dubbed one of the great wonders! Now almost 100 years later Gertie returns to Pittsburgh.
“This exhibit is the first collaboration between the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the ToonSeum. It really presents a learning opportunity for both the students and general public to explore the art of animation and gain a new appreciation for animation before computers.” Said ToonSeum Executive Director and Exhibit Curator, Joe Wos.
Exhibit runs May 6 through June 30, 2009 with an opening reception on May 13.