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A Disney-themed exhibition is heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A new show will examine Walt Disney's fascination with "European Art and French Motifs."

Written by
André Wheeler

The artistry behind Disney cartoons will soon be the focus of an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the studio’s revered animations will sit under the same roof as paintings by Monét and Van Gogh. Titled Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts, the exhibition will examine “Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks,” The Met teased in a press statement on Monday. 

This is not the first time Disney cartoons have been showcased as fine art. In 2018, a traveling pop-up Mickey Mouse-themed museum toured the world. And in the 80s, the Whitney Museum ran an exhibition focused on the early years of Mickey and the gang titled “Disney Animation and Animators.”

Some unique gems are set to be presented in the show, including a film celluloid from a production of Snow White gifted by Walt Disney to The Met in 1938 and personal film footage of Walt and his family visiting Paris. 

Sadly, we’ll have to wait a few more months for the premiere of Inspiring Walt Disney—the show doesn’t open until December 10. However, the museum has plenty of other immersive and topical exhibitions premiering in the meantime. The Met’s fall season will officially kick off on September 18, when In America: A Lexicon of Fashion debuts shortly after the highly anticipated return of The Met Gala. The show will “celebrate The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion.” After that, an experimental installation titled Before Yesterday We Could Fly will see a “speculative home” structure furnished with works from The Met’s collection will arrive —showcasing everything from Bamileke beadwork to contemporary paintings. The imaginative project will explore the "past, present, and future" of Africa and the African diaspora and premieres on November 5. 

These new exhibitions will come after a considerably tough period for The Met. Last year, after months of being closed, the museum was only able to operate at 25% capacity, due to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the state. Now, restrictions have largely been loosened for museums across the city and visitors will find some new additions to the two-century-old institution: a bicycle valet service and an outdoor café open through September 5.´

You can keep out more information about The Met's upcoming Disney and all its other exhibitions here. 

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