Book Review: Disney in Clay – The Art of Brenda White

Publisher: Brenda White / The J. S. McCarthy Company

Year: 1994

Pages: 250

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 0-9642931-1-0

Quality and not quantity will prevail.” – Brenda White

Are you the kind of person who reads a book for the pictures? Well then, this book is for you! Largely an art book, this 250-page tome is filled with beautiful images of artwork produced by the team of Jesse Rhodes, Potter, and Brenda White, Artist.

This particular book was printed as a First Addition in 1994 but carries a personal message and autographs from an event in 1997.

After some acknowledgments and a short introduction, the book is divided into four main sections: Chargers, Pull Toys, Vases, and Tiles. Then we have an informative two-page spread showing the various Signatures and Marks you will find on any art piece that has been produced, and finally, a full list of all products produced up to the date of the book.

First, let’s have a look at

A Charger is a term used by a Decorator to describe a very large plate, often 18″ in diameter. So quite a bit larger than a standard collectors plate from the Bradford Exchange, for example.

Next, we have a series of

Most, if not all Pull Toys, have traditionally been rendered in wood. But following the artist’s preferred medium, these are produced in ceramic.

Third, we have a nice selection of

The artist uses a various selection of shapes and styles on which to render the characters. So far you can see that the characters themselves are simply drawn and coloured, staying true to their cartoon nature.

Lastly, we have

The examples of tiles are found singly, arranged in mosaics, or onto boxes. The mosaics are reminiscent of Mary Blair who did many tile installations for Walt Disney in the 50s and 60s.

This book is a great reference for anyone who wishes to collect the work of Brenda White. How the artist signed each piece is specified in detail, making it possible to identify an authentic piece from a fake. You can see this in the image below:

There are also three pages listing each piece in the book, what page they are on, what Edition they were part of, and the year they were produced.

Starting on a whim that led to a contract with Disney, and later other studios with IPs to interpret, and finishing with gallery viewings and sales in the Disney Store, the career of Ms. White is varied and interesting. I would recommend this book to any Disney Fan who loves to see images of both their favorite characters as well as obscure ones.

Pieces can be found on selling sites for anywhere between $30.00 US and $50.00 US and higher. You can still purchase this book on Amazon for just under $50.00 US. I paid $10.00 CAN at a local Antique Mall.

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