Thursday, October 01, 2009

Let's Gush About the Gouache of Jacques Rupp!


Artist Jacques Rupp sets sail a fanciful galleon full of treasure-seeking pirates in this 1957 illustration for the excellent Walt Disney's Magazine series.


Jacques Wellington Rupp was yet another humongous talent in animation who really should be better known and appreciated today.  I fell head-over-heels for his whimsical style many years ago when I first encountered his illustrations in the (essential) 1956 book Our Friend the Atom.

As a layout artist for animated film and TV, Rupp's credits include more than a few of my favorite things, like Walt Disney's Magic Highway U.S.A., and Ward Kimball's Man in Space television series.  Most notably he designed the iconic opening title sequence for the Wonderful World of Color and The Wonderful World of Disney with Tinker Bell splashing sparkly magic over Disneyland's castle.   

But for a single modest project in 1955, the man deserves nothing less than Disney Legend status: designing and hand-lettering the Park's original gothic logo.

During his long career Rupp contributed to other studios, as well, drawing  Mr. Magoo, the Pink Panther, Superman, and more. He later moved to Washington to design graphics for the Seattle Times, and created the famous masthead adorning the top of the newspaper's front page.
He's one of my big heroes and inspirations.   I really wish I'd known him.

The final published spread!

12 comments:

dee said...

I'm sending hearts to the Disney Magazine. The art is amazing.

Kevin Kidney said...

You said it, Dee. There should be a coffee table book devoted to the wonderful artists that created the magazine. This stuff needs to be seen and loved.

Matt Hunter Ross said...

Wow - really incredible! Thanks for sharing this.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I love these magazines, they are each little treasures... Thanks for the info on Jacques Rupp, I didn't know he designed the original DL logo - WOW - how many different items have that logo???? "Disney Legend status" indeed. Thanks Kevin.

Major Pepperidge said...

Superb artwork, and it is a treat to see it as it looked before it was published. Thanks!

Katella Gate said...

Thanks for bringing Mr. Rupp's work to the forefront and special thanks for pointing out his authorship of the "DISNEYLAND" font.

I always admired it, and wondered who designed the type face, because this is probably the friendliest Black Forest script I've seen.

Usually the typeface is too "churchy" or legalistic, or, in the age of street gangs, intimidating, but the relaxed handling of the "a", "s", and "y" makes the word look inviting and almost playful.

cartoonretro said...

So beautiful.
S.

Bec said...

such wonderful work, thanks for sharing. i would buy that artbook in a heartbeat!

pumml said...

What a fantastic painting. Thanks for introducing me to Jacques Rupp! I'll have to hunt down that Our Friend the Atom book to get my eyeballs on more of his work.

Kelly said...

I actually bought an original Jacques Rupp pen and ink drawing of Asian warriors dueling under craggy tree at his estate sale in Seattle (I happened to live in the neighborhood). I had no idea what I was buying at the time - I just liked the drawing and appreciated the skill it took. Turns out that he did very, very few of these studies. I wish I had purchased more...

Elisabeth said...

jacques rupp grew up in the house i grew up in (seattle) as well as designed the stained glass windows...if you would like more info you are welcome to email me! evbrose@gmail.com

thanks for posting some of his portfolio. :)

Gord Wilson said...

I have been friends with Jacques Rupp's son, Bruce, since high school (the other son is Jacques Jr.). I am so glad that Didier Ghez was able to reprint my interview with Jacques senior from Animato! no. 40, in his recently released Walt's People Vol. eleven.
I had some Rupp art from Walt Disney's magazine we were allowed to use at the time of the Animato! article. I'm glad to hear there was an estate sale after Jacques and his wife had both passed away (she from cancer), because I did not know what had happened to any of the art and could not supply any except roughs for the Seattle Times editorials, which are not at all on the level of the Disney art. Anyone who would like to correspond with me or Bruce is welcome to contact me at gordrw@yahoo.com. Thanks very much for keeping Jacques' legacy alive. -Gord Wilson.