Friends, I know I am not in the minority when I say it’s hard to top Disney’s The Haunted Mansion. It was announced just last week that Van Eaton Galleries would be holding a very special auction. Entitled The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump, it will feature artwork and items from his long career as an Imagineer. Including of course some rare Haunted Mansion concept art!
While it may have begun it’s life…or is that afterlife as the Museum of the Weird. There is certainly no denying that The Haunted Mansion has captured the hearts and minds of fans all over the world. The attraction was started in earnest in 1961, when visitors were given handbills announcing the opening year as 1963. The doors to The Haunted Mansion wouldn’t open to guests however until 1969.
Rolly Crump was one of the two Imagineers, that Walt Disney approached to come up with elements of the attraction. Remember it had begun as The Museum of the Weird, so some ideas were gypsy wagons, haunted furniture, as well as man-eating plants. In fact back in 1951, an illustration was created by Harper Goff. Disney would go on to ask legendary Imagineer Ken Anderson to concoct a tale to match the illustration.
From such humble beginnings, over the years the core of The Haunted Mansion would begin to take place. Jettisoning the idea of The Museum of the Weird it instead became the final resting place for 999 Happy Haunts. As well as becoming an attraction whose collectibles are greatly sought after. You do not have to take my word for it, just ask Guillermo del Toro if you need more proof.
Which is why this auction by Van Eaton Galleries is so incredible, friends. Take a moment and look over a few of the many objects being offered. How does an original spoon to celebrate the 1969 opening strike you? A rare collectible doesn’t quite cover it, right?
Or perhaps you would be more interested in some of Rolly Crump’s original illustrations for the Candle Men concept?
Maybe a signed print of the concept by Crump for the Gypsy Wagon?
A huge thank you to Van Eaton Galleries for the images used in this article. As a matter of fact you can follow any of the links to the auction site yourself. In addition you can look through through or even order a catalog for The Haunted Mansion concept art auction.