Now through October 4th, the WJB Gallery features an exhibition by PhD student and former Disney artist Mery-et Lescher, Collectibility: Art and Commodity in the Disney Renaissance. Developed in collaboration with Professor Robert Neuman’s course “Walt Disney and the American Century,” the exhibition features art and artifacts of animation from the Disney Renaissance, a ten-year span from The Little Mermaid in 1989 through Tarzan in 1999.
Lescher juxtaposes the mass produced artifacts of Disney animation – coffee mugs, figurines, knick-knacks, and movie posters – with original artwork from the production process, such as sequence drawings, size comparison charts, and animation cells. The variety of objects gives visitors a chance to understand the dichotomy between “artifacts” mass-produced for public consumption and “art” created during the original animation process. This exhibition seeks to illustrate how both types of collectibility, art and artifact, designate objects that display contemporary creativity, rising social trends, and historical milestones.
Lescher, who studied animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, spent more than 15 years as a Disney artist in Orlando, Paris, and Sydney. She returned to school at FSU to pursue her other passions, art history and museum studies. She earned her MA in Art History with a focus in medieval art, and now has combined her interests in Disney animation and art history for the focus of her doctoral work. Her dissertation “The Little Studio That Could: Walt Disney Feature Animation’s Florida Studio (1989-2004)” focuses on the Disney Renaissance. She states, “Disney is such an influence, not just nationally but globally,” bringing people from all different departments and colleges into the gallery to share their fascination with Disney.
The WJB Gallery is on the main floor atrium of the William Johnston Building. The exhibition is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00-1:00, or by appointment. Contact Mery-et Lescher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lescher’s exhibition was a feature story on FSU Headlines on September 18; the radio story and interview are available for download or streaming here and the text article can be found on Florida State 24/7.