Saturday, April 30, 2011

Helen Parrish

She was a "friend of the family." We knew her through our friend Ruth: Helen was Ruth's niece. Her husband George's hobby was model railroads, incredibly fascinating to me. Even more interesting, though, was Helen's job as an animator at MGM. This was in the 50's, when all the top animation jobs were held by men, so Helen was relegated to a lower-status position. Still, how exciting! I've had the artwork shown above for quite a few years now, consisting of a semi-pastoral background painted on cardboard with a cel overlay containing the forest creatures. (The sign on the building reads "Little Red Schoolhouse." The word "red" is crossed out, however.)

In 1953 Helen and George traveled to Europe; I recently came across a yellowing mimeographed report of the trip that she wrote, complete with her graphical depiction of their route. Little caricatures of the travelers adorn the page; at the end of the journey Helen and George stand forlornly with empty pockets and purse.

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