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Eyvind Earle (April 26, 1916 – July 20, 2000) was an American artist, author and illustrator, noted for his contribution to the background illustration and styling of Disney animated films in the 1950s. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rahr West Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona State University Art Museum have purchased Earle's works for their permanent collections. His works have also been shown in many one-man exhibitions throughout the world.

Early life and career

Earle was born in New York in 1916, but his family moved to Hollywood in 1918.[1] He began painting when he was 10 years old, and had his first solo show in France when he was 14.[1]

Earle's first New York exhibition was at the Charles Morgan Galleries in 1937.[2] In an 1939 exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased one of his works for its permanent collection.[2] His work at this time was realistic painting.[2] In the 1940s he painted more than 800 Christmas card designs for the American Artist Group.[2]


In 1951 he joined Disney as an assistant background painter and received credit for the experimental background painting in the Goofy short, For Whom the Bulls Toil.[3] In 1953 he created the look of Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, a short animated film which won an Academy Award[2] and a Cannes Film Festival Award.[1] He also worked on Peter Pan, Working for Peanuts, Pigs is Pigs, Paul Bunyan, and Lady and the Tramp. He was responsible for the styling, background, and colors for the high-acclaimed Sleeping Beauty.[2] His artwork was the inspiration for the graphic style of Sony's first computer animated film, Open Season.[4]


Earle returned to full-time painting in 1966,[2] producing watercolors, oils, sculptures, drawings, scratchboards, and limited-edition serigraphs.[1] Much of this work was not exhibited in his lifetime.[2]

In 1998, Earle was honored at the 26th Annie Awards with the Winsor McCay Award for a lifetime achievement in the art of animation.

Earle was critically acclaimed by such publications as Time, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New York World-Telegram, The Art News and The New York Sun.


1. ^ a b c d Animazing bio of Eyvind Earle
2. ^ a b c d e f g h Art Business News, Nov 2005.
3. ^ Sacvan Bercovitch, Cyrus R. K. Patell, The Cambridge History of American Literature, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p536. ISBN 0521497310
4. ^ The Art of Open Season, Linda Sunshine, Insight Editions, 2006

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