Celebrating Rolly Crump at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Every time I go to Disneyland my must see attraction is The Haunted Mansion. Though I’m a certified fraidy cat it offers just the right amount of spooks for me and I love its many signatures details like the stretching portraits, the singing statues and the dancing ghosts. One of the main imagineers behind the attraction is Rolly Crump, a true Disney legend, who’s happily still with us. To celebrate his myriad achievements the Oceanside Museum of Art has put together an exhibit of his work called Rolly Crump: It’s Kind of a Cute Story and I had to make my way down there to see it.

Though Oceanside is not exactly near me I knew I had to make the trek to view the exhibit. The Sunday of Labor Day weekend I was a bit bored and looking for something to do and as soon as I saw that it was also free admission day at the Museum of Art (the first Sunday of every month) I decided to head down and check it out.

I had no idea what to expect but as soon as I walked into the gallery a wide grin automatically overtook my face. It was like stepping into a wonderland! It was so colorful! And there were gizmos and gadgets all over! And art! Lots and lots of art!
While Rolly made significant contributions to Disney (besides The Haunted Mansion he had a big hand in the creation of The Tiki Room and It’s a Small World) he also was a prolific artist in his own right and the exhibit highlights both his professional and personal work.

Mr. Crump truly is a man of great talent and myriad subjects have influence him over the years. Whether it’s Dia de los Muertos, geishas, pop culture or jazz his work reflects all that fascinates him.

When I first heard of the exhibition I assumed it would be only Disney but the inclusion of his personal works made it that much better. He was and IS supremely talented. Many of the works were done only a few years ago!

Of course, I was super excited to see a section devoted to The Haunted Mansion. When the ride was originally envisioned it was to be a walk through attraction with a Museum of the Weird and Rolly made several designs for this museum that were, unfortunately, scrapped when the ride was created.

Isn’t that gypsy wagon so cool? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see a model of it? Well…

Inspired by Rolly’s designs the artist Thomas Kuntz created a three dimensional model of the wagon and it’s so SO cool!

I’ve been to a lot of gallery exhibits over the years and I can honestly say Rolly Crump: It’s Kind of a Cute Story ranks among my favorites. It’s pure joy and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It runs through February 18, 2018 and there’s no excuse to miss it!

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