Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A portrait of five women

Here's John Sparey's portrait, from 1954 or 1955, of five women who worked at Disney, four of whom who would have been among the first to break the gender barrier to get artistic jobs at the House of Mouse. Until not long before this, women artists were only considered for ink-and-paint or other non-artistic jobs. Nancy Stapp, Rith Kissane, Janie McIntosh, Lyn Kroeger and Eva Schneider
  • Nancy Stapp (front left), the daughter of industry vet Terrell Stapp, attended Chouinard and Occidental before starting at Disney as an inbetweener in 1954. She seems to have been let go in the "Black Friday" mass layoff at the end of Sleeping Beauty, after which she enrolled at USC and left the industry.
  • Ruth Kissane (left rear), "one of the top women animators of the modern age" (Jeff Lenburg), went on from Disney to design the layouts for most of the classic Bill Melendez Peanuts specials and features. She directed Captain Kangaroo spots for John Sutherland and animated for John Hubley on Everybody Rides The Carousel and The Doonesbury Special. After her death in 1990, she received ASIFA-Hollywood's Winsor McCay Award.
  • Janie McIntosh (center) was the secretary to animation administrator Andy Engman.
  • Lyn Kroeger (right rear), who appeared as Snow White in this John Sparey pastel, left Disney in 1955. Our files show a long list of studios for which she inbetweened or assisted: Quartet, Melendez, Murakami/Wolf, Haboush, Levitow-Hansen, Duck Soup and Hanna-Barbera, until 1984, when she left the industry.
  • We previously profiled Eva Schneider (right front), who appeared in this picture from our John Sparey collection. In case you missed Floyd Norman's comment on that post, after she left animation in 1981 she moved to New Orleans where she lives to this day. She refused to evacuate after Katrina, and Floyd says there was a picture of her and her dog in Vanity Fair a few months ago.

Here's more of the art of John Sparey.


Sue Bielenberg said...

That is good to know. This is such an informative blog. If this is the wrong place to post, please move this, but I am eternally grateful for the computer lab. When I had been 3 years out of work, my network was GONE and my skills were not up to date for some "traditional" shows that had digital aspects to them. Heck, I could no longer even get a small illustration gig because I did not properly know how to post my samples online. If you see an ad, you have to send a link now. They are not gonna meet in person anymore. I was not prepared to figure all of this out alone. But I went to the lab, asked for some assistance, and built my knowledge in Photoshop. One small project at a time, I was guided in problem-solving using the commands of the program. I progressed from the very basic to some pretty involved stuff, and I progressed from freebie work to some paid freelance that I could do on my own (Look Ma, no help!) I started getting some in-house freelance work that used Photoshop. Without the computer lab, I would have been lost. I could not afford even a community college class to learn, and, frankly, many animation jobs do not require complete computer savvy, just some skills that can be applied in limited ways. I just needed to come in with my own projects and find out what, on the computer, would simulate what I had been doing with pencil and paint. Now I am exploring Flash at the lab and hope to get into Illustrator soon. I do not see myself becoming a Maya master anytime soon, but being shepherded into the digital age in a friendly and animation-aware environment has made a huge difference in my life. I cannot thank TAG enough for this fabulous resource.

Ken Roskos said...

Thanks Marshmallow Mouse. There's also a tendency to think of computers as strictly a "guy thing". I guess animation itself is still thought as male territory.

But we're always willing to share what we can here at the Lab. Happy to be of service!

Members can get more on the Lab by emailing, we'll get back to you asap.

Anonymous said...

Good morning. Eva Schneider has lived in a living center in New Orleans for the past 4 years. I was not her care giver but from the first time I spoke to her, I found her most interesting and loved her from that day. I wanted to say she has been a blessing to me and an inspiration. She passed this Fathers' Day, 6/16/13 @ 3:45 AM. During her stay, she told me many stories of Walt Disney and her time spent there. She also told me stories of her time when she traveled with the circus. Before she passed, I printed everything and anything I could find on Eva and Thursday last week, we started to read all the articles. Eva would fill in what the articles missed. I knew her time was growing very short, so I spent as much as I could with her. She was a very amazing and strong woman! I will miss her much.
Thank you for printing this.
Shelley Jasper

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