clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Walt Disney Family Museum Debuts Retrospective of Legendary Artist

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

You may not recognize the name Mel Shaw (1914-2012) but you definitely know his work. Let's see, do any of these ring a bell... Bambi, Dumbo, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King? He's also responsible for the re-design of the original freckled-face puppet Howdy Doody.

The Walt Disney Family Museum pays tribute to its legendary artist-slash-storyteller with a first-ever retrospective of his work: Mel Shaw: An Animator on Horseback. The exhibit, which recently opened at the Presidio museum, runs through September 12, 2016.

Kids of all ages are sure to be to be transported to fantasyland while checking out the show—guest-curated by Academy Award®-nominated producer Don Hahn. It features more than 120 of Shaw's work created for Disney during the better part of the 20th century. Yep, sketches, storyboards, conceptual artwork, ceramics and toys from some of the most influential animated films ever are everywhere you look. (Get a taste in the gallery above.)

Shaw, whose horse-riding skills matched his skills as an animator, is also regarded as a master equestrian artist. In fact, the Brooklyn-born Shaw's talent as a polo player is what led to his storied career: He met Walt Disney while playing polo in the late 1930s. In short order, he was hired as an artist and earned star-player status on the Disney polo team, the Donald Ducks.

The museum is open 10am to 6pm daily except Tuesdays. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for kids, ages 6 to 17.