Sunday, October 19, 2014

Museum of the Weird: An Evening with Rolly Crump

How familiar are you with this face?

If you are one of the legions of hardcore Disney dorks with whom I unintentionally seem to surround myself, then you probably recognize this as the face of longtime, Disney artist and Imagineer, Rolly Crump.  If unaware of Mr. Crump's contributions to the world, one need look only as far as the 1964 New York World's Fair, It's a Small World, The Enchanted Tiki Room (a personal favorite), and The Haunted Mansion.  Crump's influence is all over Disneyland and, while all of his work garners copious praise, it is his concept art for The Haunted Mansion that really gained him a cult following. 

Rolly Crump describes the Museum of the Weird 
and his contributions to The Haunted Mansion

As anyone who has ridden the Haunted Mansion Ride at Disneyland knows, the Museum of the Weird (developed from 1964-65), as described by Rolly, never really came to fruition.  Elements of his designs are definitely found throughout the darkest of all Disney dark rides, but ardent fans of the weird have continually clamored for a proper Museum of the Weird.

Rolly working on models for the Museum of the Weird

I'm such a sucker for miniatures that if we can't have a full-scale MOTW,
 I'd be satisfied with a display like this at the ride's exit!
(Source)

Alerted to a "Museum of the Weird" tribute art show at the gallery/collectible store, Creature Features, in Burbank, we hopped in the wacky wagon for an evening with the master.

We figured that, at the very least, an art show is usually good for
crudit├ęs and a cool drink, but Rolly Crump was actually there "in person!"

Well over thirty artists presented works that paid tribute to Crump's concept art, often transforming what was only a pencil sketch into a fully-realized, three-dimensional art piece.

From paper sculpture to ceramics, paintings, carved reliefs, sculpture, and
dioramas, there was plenty of proof that Rolly's work never fails to inspire! 

Like the first Reese' Peanut Butter Cup in a plastic pumpkin, the "Museum of the Weird" art show really ushered in the Halloween season for the wacky tacky adventure team.  It was a particular treat to attend the opening night of this show, as not one but two of the brilliant art pieces were contributed by amazingly-talented friends.

Our pals, Kevin & Jody, built the nine-foot-tall "Tower of the Weird."
The literal centerpiece of the show, the tower was
faithfully built according to Crump's illustration.

Crump's "Aquarium with Ghost Fish" sketch was the inspiration for our ingenious friend, Suzy's, "Doomquarium."
We were especially proud of Suzy as this was the first piece of the evening to be sold!  
Lucky (and maybe just a little odd) is the person who took this home!

Equally famous for his post-Disney career, Crump continues to inspire fans with work that is sometimes subversive and always off-beat, far-out, and totally weird.  As with all creepy adventures through The Haunted Mansion, the Museum of the Weird, and even tribute art shows at Creature Features, it is paramount to obey that ominous warning...

"Beware of hitchhiking ghosts!"

"The Haunted Mansion" soundtrack



Creature Features
2904 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA
(818)842-8665



Cheers!

Mr. Tiny

10 comments:

  1. How wonderfully cool to see the unfinished come to be! When our gang took the trip to Florida this summer, and three of us went to Disney World, I found myself wishing that the "Haunted Mansion" ride moved just a little slower so one could fully take everything in. The Ballroom was my favorite, with its ghostly party goer's and the backward projection of the Ladies leading the dance!

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    1. The Haunted Mansion is one of my very favorite rides. I've been on the one at Disneyland a million times and it never gets old. We rode the doom buggies in Tokyo as well. I still need to get to FL at some point too. Your trip looked really great!

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  2. As a child I dreamed of going to Disneyland and seeing the haunted mansion. I still dream of it.

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    1. What a sweet dream! If you haven't been yet, I sure hope your dream comes true very soon!

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  3. Thanks for coming out to support Rolly!

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    1. It was our pleasure! Thank YOU for your support of Rolly and a great book!!!

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  4. Thank you 100 times over for your always amazing blogs Mr. Tiny! And thanks to you and your adorable sis Mary & hairy ape brother Nick for always giving me props and showing your support! What a crazy evening this was & I still can not believe I didn't even see you guys all night! I never expected a line around the block all night! And how cute is Rolly Crump!

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    1. Thank you! Humble, talented, and super cool, you are always an inspiration! We got there early and beat that endless line - what a show!

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  5. woah! i have never heard of Rolly Crump and I'm so happy I do now! First, is that his real name? If so it's pretty amazing. I've got ot look more into this Museum of the Weird. I love every single thing in this post!

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    1. His first name is Roland but he has been going by Rolly for a long time. I'm glad you like his art. Between the studios in LA and Disneyland in OC, I forgot that the rest of the world is not completely surrounded by Disney. I'm so glad you like his work!

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