Updated April 23, 2017 (the ACTUAL anniversary date!), with a link to new information about a house illustration discussed below.
Okay, we're a couple of weeks early, but yep, Long-Forgotten is celebrating its seventh anniversary this month. What can one say? I can only shake my head in amazement (as opposed to a certain ghost who shakes his head in a hatbox). It's true that new posts these days are as rare as 1909-S VDB Lincoln pennies (I've been messing around with my coin collection lately), but have no fear: the critter ain't dead until I say it is. Speaking of collections, I am still gathering HM materials as I find them and may do an "anthology" post or two in future, dealing with topics of interest that are too short for a full post. And as long as they keep fiddling around with the rides, your favorite reviewer will be there with his magnifying glass and big mouth. Looking down the road, you can be sure that there will be a lot of hoopla over the 50th anniversary of the original DL Mansion in 2019, and yours truly is planning on a trip to the park that year, maybe on the exact date I was there the first time.
As always on these our anniversaries, we party down for a paragraph or two, and then tired but happy Forgottenistas are sent home with a piece of Mansionalia maybe a little too weak for a full post but a little too strong for the trivia basket.
This one is really fun.
A few months ago, gerG, a Disney guy who is a fan of the blog, sent me a copy of Frances Lichten's Decorative Art of Victoria's Era (Scribners, 1950). It was previously owned by a friend and colleague of gerG but was on its way to the dumpster when gerG rescued it and kindly mailed it to me, figuring I'd like to have the book. It's an old, library discard, and it's seen better days, but with a little tape on the cover it's good to go.
Mansion fans already know about the book. It came to prominence several years ago when it was discovered that the façades of both the Anaheim and Orlando Mansions were directly inspired by pictures in it. A copy must have been available in the WDI (then WED) library. We've discussed Ken Anderson and the Shipley-Leydecker house many ... many ... times, so a few pictures are all we need at this point.
probably served as inspiration for the WDW HM. Once again, pictures say it all:
most responsible for the look of the WDW Mansion, so that's two of the most important Mansion Imagineers making use of Decorative Art.
Busted Once Again!
planned for the corner. You will remember Marc Davis's concept art for this effect, which dates to 1964:
Although I've sometimes made exceptions, I have usually avoided devoting whole posts to background inspiration for things that never made it into the finished Mansion, but in this case there is enough going on to make you feel like you're looking over Marc's shoulder and observing the creative process, and that's pretty cool. It also means that Lichten's Decorative Art of Victoria's Age rightfully takes its place alongside de Givry's Illustrated Anthology of Magic, Sorcery, and Alchemy as a volume known to have supplied visual inspiration for several different Disney artisans who gave us the Haunted Mansion.
As a final note, I might add that Lichten is (or was) an attractive book. Bear in mind that it was only seven years old when Ken Anderson was looking through it, only fourteen when Marc Davis did the same, and when it was new, it looked like this: