Disney Family Museum to open this fall… in San Francisco April 2nd, 2009, 5:47 am · posted by Adam Townsend, Staff Writer
The Walt Disney Family Foundation, headed up by Walt Disney’s sole surviving daughter, has announced it’s going to open the Walt Disney Family Museum
in San Francisco.
The museum will be dedicated to Disney’s life and work, featuring drawings he did as a child, storyboards from classic Disney movies and the original Oscar he received for “Snow White,” the first feature-length animation in history.
Other pieces from the Disney family archives and stuff on loan from the company will appear in the museum as well when it opens in the fall of this year.
Why is the museum, which opens this fall, in San Francisco?
Elaine Mellis, a spokeswoman for the Disney Family Museum, said that the family had considered putting the museum in a number of different cities — Kansas City where Disney started his early career, Chicago where he went to art school and, of course, greater Los Angeles where he met with his greatest success as an artist, animator, producer, studio mogul and developer.
The family finally settled on San Francisco for a couple reasons, Mellis said.
First, the Disney family moved north to Napa Valley after Walt’s death, where they still remain. The family has rented space to store their archives for the last 10 years in the Presidio, a huge decommissioned military base now involved in extensive revitalization efforts.
The museum will be in historical barracks painstakingly renovated in cooperation with The Presidio Trust, the federal agency charged with preserving the thousands of buildings on the historic base.
Clay Harrell, a spokesman for the trust, said the deal to locate the musem in the Presidio has been in the works for several years.
Furthermore, Mellis said the family wanted the museum to stand on its own — though the Walt Disney Corporation has been cooperative with the foundation, the aim is for the museum to focus on Walt himself.
“Walt’s is kind of a California story,” Mellis said. ”They wanted to get it away from the company.”