Disney Mulls Major Museum

When toon pioneer Walt Disney passed away forty years ago, his staff sealed off his suite of offices in the Burbank studio, essentially entombing a treasure vault of artifacts from the golden age of animation.  Over the decades, the company hired a historian and staff of twelve to catalog and sift through the material which has been carefully stored in a warehouse nearby.  Now there is speculation that a new museum, based on Walt’s personal mementos as well as artifacts from dozens of Disney productions, will rise in Glendale CA.

The LA TIMES is reporting:

When Disney President and Chief Executive Robert Iger got his first tour of the warehouse — which resembles the piled-high repository shown at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” — he knew the artifacts could be collecting more than dust. Iger said this week that a fully dedicated Disney museum is a possibility and, when asked if the company’s largely undeveloped industrial park in Glendale might be an option, he said yes. That parcel includes the old Grand Central Airport, a 1920s Art Deco relic that might be a candidate, according to some Disney sources, but Iger did not speak about that building specifically. At the least, Iger said, the company heirlooms will be displayed at the D23 Expo planned for next year in Anaheim or in a touring museum exhibit.

“I’m certainly intrigued by that idea but we’re exploring multiple ways to do it,” Iger said. “It could be that end up in partnership with an existing museum, figure out ways to exhibit these great works at museums around the country or the world. It also could be that we create our own — obviously there’s significant investment associated with that. As we consider any significant investment we look at what kind of return we could get on that investment. In meantime we know one return from this would be all the great goodwill we’d see from making this collection accessible. We also need to be practical about it from the dollars and cents perspective.”

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