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Arts and Entertainment

Art Show Revisits The Lost Disney Attraction, 'Museum Of The Weird'

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This weekend a Burbank gallery will be paying tribute to a spooky, yet whimsical Disney attraction that never came to be. This Saturday, Creature Features is hosting an art show curated by Rebecca Lord and Ken Daly featuring work from about 60 artists inspired by a lost Disney Attraction, 'Museum of the Weird.' The attraction's imagineer and designer Rolly Crump will be in attendance at the opening reception, signing copies of his biography It's Kind of A Cute Story, with co-author Jeff Heimbuch.

Back in the '60s, Disney imagineers were working on concepts for The Haunted Mansion, and two of these artists were Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey.

"Rolly was was the imagineer who was the sort of beatnik who came up with all these crazy ideas," Lord said.

When Walt Disney saw Crump's designs, he asked Crump about them. Crump showed them to the team—a talking chair, a lizard with bells on his tails, two-headed dragons—but the rest of the crew wasn't on board, thinking his ideas were too odd.

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But the next day, Lord said, "Disney was still standing there, wearing the same clothes, saying, 'Rolly, this stuff is great, we really want to use it.'"

It was decided that these designs would be incorporated into 'The Museum of the Weird,' a collection of curiosities in the Haunted Mansion's spill area. But when Walt Disney died in 1966, enthusiasm for the project faded and it never manifested, though some of Crump's designs were interpreted in various ways in the Haunted Mansion, or have appeared in other iterations throughout the Disney universe.

Lord said this show will be a celebration of Crump and his work. "He's inspired so many things," she said, mentioning how he hand-carved the tiki sculptures at the Enchanted Tiki Room and designed the face of Small World. It's also the 45th anniversary of Haunted Mansion and the 50th anniversary of Small World this year.

Lord said attendees can expect lots of paintings and models, as well as a kinetic sculpture called 'Tower of the Weird' from artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daly.

Creature Features Presents Museum of the Weird: Group Art Tribute Show. 2904 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Opens Saturday, September 13, 6 - 10 p.m. Free. This show will be on display through September 28 during the gallery's standard hours.

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