We here of the Institute Research & Development Staff would like to wish you all a Mary Christmas (Mary Blair Christmas that is!). What can be said about Mary Blair? Where does one begin? I’ve written two pieces on her, and done one presentation on her. I think if there is ever a Disney artist whose art defies the written word and truly needs to be experienced, it is Mary Blair. After all, she was Walt’s favorite. As such, I am going to let these Christmas images speak for themselves (and write a lot more on Mary Blair in the future). The first four cards (below), are from a Hallmark boxed set (above) that was sold during the 1945 Christmas Season. The box included three each of four different Mary Blair Las Posadas scenes. The four Christmas cards below those are also from 1945 and feature concept art from The Three Caballeros
(1945). They are from a Hallmark line titled Rufftex Cards and sold for five cents each (that was with envelope!). They feature Holiday and Christmas greetings inside. The Las Posadas cards feature Christmas and Seasons greetings inside, but they also include the following information on the Las Posada tradition:
LAS POSADAS This custom takes place on each of the nine days before Christmas. Each evening the children gather at the village church and form a procession, symbolizing the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The little ones carry images of the saints from house to house, singing a plea for shelter, or “posada”.
A reply comes from within the house, “No posada, no shelter.” Looking sad and downhearted, they try again, but the reply is still the same, “No shelter, no posada.” They repeat their song time after time and always they are refused, until at last they reach a friendly house and the door is opened. “Come in, come in, holy pilgrims. This humble home is yours.” And now Mary and Joseph have found shelter at last.