Getty Joins Forces with Disney Animation to Study Cel Artwork

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Disney Animation Research Library (ARL) are joining forces in an effort to better understand deterioration that can occur in plastics, a material increasingly used by artists over the last 50 to 60 years. This collaboration is part of a long-term project already underway at the GCI to develop conservation strategies for objects made with plastics.

The ARL’s state-of-the-art storage facilities have extended the life of Disney’s animation art, but in addition to environment, the exact aging process depends on a number of factors, including the composition of the plastics, which vary. A number of cels already are showing signs of deterioration such as yellowing, warping, and cracking, as well as the artist’s paint visibly pulling away from the plastic support, including a cel of Snow White singing to the seven dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and a cel featuring the evil god Chernabog from Fantasia.

The Disney Animation Research Library houses approximately 65 million pieces of animation art created over a period of more than 80 years by the Walt Disney Animation Studios division. The collection includes original plastic animation cels and backgrounds, as well as conceptual design work, animation drawings, model sheets, layouts, exposure sheets, models, audio and video tapes, reference photographs and books. The ARL is the world’s largest archive of animation art.

For more info, visit www.getty.edu/conservation/.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs