Thursday, November 03, 2011


Watch Antiques Roadshow featuring "The Committee", on PBS from Eugene. WATCH - approx 28:00 in...

I had the opportunity to take "The Committee" by Ward Kimball to the Roadshow this summer in Eugene, Oregon where appraiser, Leila Dunbar (best known for sports memorabilia) immediately recognized the piece as a Kimball. Apparently Leila's father was an expert on Disney and animation history, so she took to the piece like a moth to flame and put us on the air. I'm very excited to share this amazing painting and expose Ward Kimball for his brilliant creative contributions!

The Committee, 1949
Ward Kimball 1914-2002
Oil on Masonite
24in. x 42in

click image for larger version

I had the great fortune to spend an entire day with Ward at his estate in the summer of 1996. He gave me a private tour or his trains, antique toys and art. Sadly, Ward died in 2002 and we lost a great creative innovator, but rest assured, Ward lived a big, amazing life full of accomplishment. It's a day I'll never forget.

I have to have this painting! I came across The Committee at auction in Texas in 2006, when doing research for an animated series I created "MOUNTIES" Fortunate for me, the other bidders didn't know who Ward Kimball was and I won the painting for a modest price. I admit, my eyes watered when I received it weeks later - the color and lines are stunning in person and it's unavoidable at 42"x28". The piece now hangs on a prominent wall and I'm inspired by it daily :)

A few years back I was given the book "The Nine Old Men" by John Canemaker and I was surprised to discover The Committee featured in Ward's chapter. The painting was misidentified as being painted sometime in the 60's, and it was flipped horizontal. I contacted John and let him know the painting was in-fact painted in 1949 by Ward - it's written in pencil in his hand on the backside of the handmade frame. (John promised to correct the error in the next edition :)

Ward won the Academy Award in 1953 for Toot Whistle Plunk & Boom WATCH and the film is clearly inspired by the stylization shown in The Committee. Animation companies like UPA and the entire graphic animation movement all emerged right around this time. Could The Committees be the Rosetta Stone of the modern animation movement, and did the discoveries Ward made in his paintings bring about a major turning point in animation? Clearly, The Committee is an important pieces of animation history!


Watch and learn more about the Ward Kimball and The Committee on Antiques Roadshow from Eugene, OR WATCH - approx 28:00 in...

Long live Ward's legacy and his inspiring art!