Monthly Archives: May 2009

Cass Warner at the Chuck Jones Gallery–Santa Fe

The
Brothers Warner
Presented by the Warner Sisters–

Granddaughter of Warner Bros. Studio
Founder To Sign

Book & Screen Documentary

Santa Fe, NM—The
Chuck Jones Gallery
will host a book & DVD signing for Cass Warner,
granddaughter of founder and President of Warner Bros. Studios, Harry Warner,
on Friday, May 22nd from 5 to 7 PM. 
An exhibition of never-before-seen photographs from Ms. Warner’s
personal collection of family memorabilia will be on display.  The photographs offer an intimate look inside
the family that brought us such film masterpieces as “Casablanca,” “The Wizard
of Oz”, “The Jazz Singer” and “Gone With the Wind.”  The gallery, in a tribute to the famed Warner
Bros. Animation Studio, will also feature unique vintage cel art from animated
films directed by Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Bob McKimson. 

On
Saturday, May 23rd, the gallery and Ms. Warner will present the
documentary The Brothers Warner at
The Film Museum at 6 PM (418 Montezuma Ave., Santa Fe,) tickets are $10.00 per
person or $60.00 per person which include a private dinner with Cass Warner on
Friday evening after the gallery reception. 
A frequent visitor to Santa Fe, Ms. Warner says, "Each time I revisit the Land of
Enchantment – it becomes more enchanting."

Brothers_warner_20090315

The Brothers Warner
(book and documentary) is an intimate portrait of the four film pioneers who
founded and ran Warner Bros. Studio for over 50 years.  This is the inside story of the little known
major player in the Warner Bros. studio legend, Harry Warner (Cass Warner’s
grandfather); and honest Abe, visionary Sam, and volatile Jack—the original
Hollywood independent filmmakers. This close-knit band of brothers proved in
their pioneering efforts to use mass media to “educate, entertain, and
enlighten” while being commercially successful. Their films were often produced
from stories ripped from news headlines. It was Harry’s personal belief that,
“Those who make a nation’s entertainment have obligations above and beyond
their primary commercial objective, which is the box office.”

A passionate advocate for the power of film, Ms. Warner has
said “I whole-heartedly believe that the moving image—in the form of films,
television, video and other media—is an incredibly powerful communication tool.
It can be equated to today’s tribal drum—carrying emotional, intellectual and
philosophical messages, which are hummed almost unknowingly or subliminally as
the result of taking in this form of entertainment.”

Taking the original Warner Bros. Studios motto “Educate,
Entertain and Enlighten” to heart, Cass Warner Sperling founded Warner Sisters
to carry on the legacy left her by grandfather, Harry Warner.  Originally drawn to acting Cass Warner
Sperling soon found herself fascinated with screenwriting and mentored by her
father, Milton Sperling, and the inimitable Howard Koch (Academy Award™-winning
screenwriter of Casablanca) she has
gone on to produce not only the documentary, The Brothers Warner, but also to produce and host the series Conversations with Cass (seen on Starz)
and is in production on several features. 

Cass_warner_20090315

The Chuck Jones Gallery,
located just steps from the Plaza of Santa Fe at 135 W. Palace Ave., is the
destination for art collectors and visitors from around the world.  The gallery presents the most important works
of art from the 20th century film art genre, including original art
from the masters of film and moving entertainment.  From film campaign artists to matte painters,
from layout artists to animators, concept artists and cartoonists, the Chuck
Jones Gallery represents the giants of film art history.  Artists represented include Chuck Jones,
Salvador Dali, Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw, John Alvin, Charles
Schulz, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Bill Melendez,
and Lawrence Noble. For more information please call the gallery at 505-983-5999. 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 13 Post:

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 52

Dear Linda:

Today I would like to discuss with you a very important matter:  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.  No student of Latin can be entirely serious and ignore this historical fact.  I am enclosing a chart showing how the rise and fall of this empire occurred.  I made it small so you can carry it around in your purse or pocket for easy reference.  You will note, for instance, that the fall was greater by two squares than the rise.  This is very significant.  Another thing is that the Roman Empire could have gone higher before falling.  There are three squares open and available above the peak of the rise.  Now some historians have contended that it was tripped at that point, that it fell without knowing how, but I believe (Chone-Jucks theory) that it was planned that way.  That the rulers of Rome (emperors) knew that the fall was coming sooner or later, well, not sooner—because if it was coming sooner, it would have already happened … and “the higher they went the farther they’d fall.”  Isn’t that interesting?  But how many empires realize this?  How many empires of today study their history?  Look around you and note all these upstart young empires dashing madly off in all directions, rising to dizzy heights, headstrong, foolish.  It is very pitiful.  To me at any rate.

You write a wonderful letter: easygoing, vivid and friendly, a lot of fun to read and, I’ll bet, a lot of fun to write.  Your description of early morning from the porch of the guesthouse was truly a small and lovely masterpiece, worthy of a young Mark Twain, who wasn’t so bad at capturing mood himself.  I guess I don’t have to tell you to keep it up.  If you enjoy writing you’ll unquestionably continue to do so, but I do want to say one thing:  put it down as it occurs to you.  Don’t subject a thought to too much scrutiny before you release it.  This is the basic disease of conversation in this country.  People are prone to say to themselves, is it a good thought?  Is it profound?  Will I be misunderstood?  Will I look silly?  By the time this poor little idea has been subjected to the fearful pounding of these qualifications, the time for its use has glimmered off into the distance and it is so ragged and bruised that no hint of its original spontaneity remains.  Better to take a chance on being misunderstood than to be sure of being dull.  Write and say what you think, when you think it.  The chances are a hundred to one you won’t say anything harmful and you might well say something creative, funny or beautiful.

You seem to be coming out of the dismal incubation period very nicely, so I won’t talk about it any more unless you need help.

Your dirty old every-loving fahther… 

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 13 Post:

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 52

Dear Linda:

Today I would like to discuss with you a very important matter:  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.  No student of Latin can be entirely serious and ignore this historical fact.  I am enclosing a chart showing how the rise and fall of this empire occurred.  I made it small so you can carry it around in your purse or pocket for easy reference.  You will note, for instance, that the fall was greater by two squares than the rise.  This is very significant.  Another thing is that the Roman Empire could have gone higher before falling.  There are three squares open and available above the peak of the rise.  Now some historians have con-tended that it was tripped at that point, that it fell without knowing how, but I believe (Chone-Jucks theory) that it was planned that way.  That the rulers of Rome (emperors) knew that the fall was coming sooner or later, well, not sooner—because if it was coming sooner, it would have already happened—and that “the higher they went the farther they’d fall.”  Isn’t that interesting?  But how many empires realize this?  How many empires of today study their history?  Look around you and note all these upstart young empires dashing madly off in all directions, rising to dizzy heights, headstrong, foolish.  It is very pitiful. To me at any rate.

You write a wonderful letter: easygoing, vivid and friendly, a lot of fun to read and, I’ll bet, a lot of fun to write.  Your description of early morning from the porch of the guesthouse was truly a small and lovely masterpiece, worthy of a young Mark Twain, who wasn’t so bad at capturing mood himself.  I guess I don’t have to tell you to keep it up.  If you enjoy writing you’ll unquestionably continue to do so, but I do want to say one thing:  put it down as it occurs to you.  Don’t subject a thought to too much scrutiny before you release it.  This is the basic disease of conversation in this country.  People are prone to say to themselves, is it a good thought?  Is it profound?  Will I be misunderstood?  Will I look silly?  By the time this poor little idea has been subjected to the fearful pounding of these qualifications, the time for its use has glimmered off into the distance and it is so ragged and bruised that no hint of its original spontaneity remains.  Better to take a chance on being misunderstood than to be sure of being dull.  Write and say what you think, when you think it.  The chances are a hundred to one you won’t say anything harmful and you might well say something creative, funny or beautiful.

You seem to be coming out of the dismal incubation period very nicely, so I won’t talk about it any more unless you need help.

Your dirty old every-loving fahther… 

Chuck Jones Center Gets Creative, Promotes Program Director Posner

Positive Impact
Garners New Title, New Duties

Irvine, CA–Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
announced today that current Program Director for the Center, Cheryl Posner,
has been named its first Executive Director. Posner, whose contributions to the Center
since coming on board in 2007 include establishing new programs and increasing
community and fundraising awareness, will move into the new position
immediately.

“We know that
promoting Cheryl to Executive Director is exactly the right thing to do for the
Center.  Cheryl’s leadership, dedication,
and skillful execution coupled with her positive and unstoppable energy have
contributed to the growth and well-being of the Center over the past two years.
 She is the perfect person to lead the
Center into its next phase of growth and effectiveness.  The Center is committed to encouraging and
developing creativity in children and adults; Cheryl can help make that happen
for us,” stated Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board of Chuck Jones Center for
Creativity.

"I am thrilled to
be working with the Center for Creativity as we develop new exhibitions,
classes, and other public offerings that astonish, intrigue, and delight. Creativity is not what people think!"
opined Ms. Posner when queried.  “When I
hear a mother talking about her five-year-old son, who refuses to sketch in
school but finishes drawing after drawing in one of our classes; see stunned
college students frozen in front of Chuck Jones’ oil painting about the horror
of nuclear war; or watch a seasoned educator react with delight to the
prototype of our creativity kit for children, I just can’t imagine a more
stimulating place to be.  I have the best
job in the world.”

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, a
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to fostering and encouraging
creativity, especially in young people, using the drawings, films, writings,
and other works of legendary animation director, Chuck Jones, as inspiration.  It encourages the expression of artistic
creativity and promotes an environment where that spirit can flourish.  Jones' art and ideas continue to influence
contemporary artists, filmmakers, and writers through the vast resource of his
work accessible through the Center for Creativity's archive. The Center for Creativity offers many of its
local experiential programs at a shared gallery space in Old Towne Orange, CA.

Earning her B.A. in English from Lawrence University and M.S. in Technical Writing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute along the way, Cheryl Posner has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember.  Her career has included writing proposals for a government contractor in Los Angeles and grantwriting for nonprofit organizations such as UCP of North Central Wisconsin and Community Foundation of South Wood County, Wisconsin.  She also co-authored a book on the British rock band, The Who.  She returned to California in 2005, taking on the job of special assistant to the director of the UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.  A mutual friend introduced her to the Chuck Jones family, and she soon thereafter became the Center for Creativity's Program Director, with responsibilities for program development and implementation, fundraising, donor relations, community relations and PR, volunteer coordination, and website development.

  


Cheryl Posner 72 dpi

Star Wars Day “May the Fourth Be With You!”

Episode IV Decade III

Episode IV Decade 3 f copy 

John Alvin, legendary cinema campaign artist did amazing work for Lucasfilm and the Star Wars phenomenon, including the above limited edition fine art print celebrating Episode IV of the Star Wars saga.  When he passed away last year at the age of 59, the tributes flowed in from around the world.  One of the most poignant and heartfelt came from George Lucas and was published on February 13, 2008 on the Star Wars website. 

Thirty years ago, John
Alvin created one of the most memorable – and whimsical – illustrations ever to
grace a
Star Wars poster.  In the years since, he has become one of the
finest illustrators in his trade, flourishing in a field that is quickly
becoming a lost art.  We are so fortunate
to count John’s talent among the treasures of the saga’s legacy, and will
deeply miss him and the passion for
Star Wars he so successfully expressed through his art.  – George Lucas

STAR WARS CONCERT copy 

(A portion of the rest of the Star Wars tribute to John Alvin follows.)

“It was John’s stirring poster depiction of Luke beneath a
twilight Tatooine sky that instantly captiveated fans at last year’s
Celebration events held in Los Angeles and London.  The scene from A New Hope which he selected – Luke looking toward the twin suns,
and his dual destinies – resonates more powerfully than any moment in the saga,
and was the perfect choice to celebrate Star
Wars’
30th anniversary. 
John had captured the true spirit of the saga, displaying a deep
understanding of the hero’s journey and a fierce passion for the Star Wars mythos.” 

Celebration IV Poster.72dpi copy

“John was there for Star Wars’ 10th
anniversary in 1987, creating a stunning Tatooine panoramic that trumpeted “The
First Ten Years.”  He was also the artist
of choice for 1995’s international video campaign, which utilized new classic
trilogy artwork he’d composed for cassette sleeves and posters.  Throughout the rest of the ‘90s, John
illustrated several books in the Jedi Academy and Jedi Readers series, closing
out the decade with an illustration that launched the first Star Wars Celebration convention.”

STAR WARS 10TH ANNIV copy

  For more information about John Alvin, please visit www.ChuckJones.com

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 12 Post:

Friday, October 3, 1952

Good morning, my darling!

We put the finishung touches on “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½th Century” yesterday, saw it complete with music, sound, color—the works, in short.  It’s a parody on the “Space Cadet”, “Captain Video”, type television show, but the funny thing is, it came out not only quite funny, but exciting, too.  The backgrounds were beautiful and very 24 ½ th cen-tury-ish.  Try to say 24 ½ th century.  It’s very difficult, is it “twenty-fourth and a half” or “twenty-four and a halfth”?

There’s a nice word in the first sentence up there:  “Fin-ishung”, sounds like a Chinese fabric.  SPECIAL TODAY!!  GENUINE FINISHUNG, Imported from Lontung, China!!  $2.34 a yard!!  Don’t be pitied by your neighbors!  You, too, can be dressed in fashionable, easy-to-clean FINISHUNG!!

My diet ends tomorrow.  I have lost ten and one half pounds and look quite stylish.  [We are going to a] dinner party tomorrow night and I presume the food will be quite fancy.  I hope I have the good sense to take it easy as my stomach has become used to what are genially called “bland” foods.  You know, Linda, I really haven’t minded it.  I’ve gotten to appreciate the rabbit’s point of view: green vegetables are really delicious, especially raw.

I hear the Le Conte [Jr. High School] bugle tootling away behind me (I’m at the studio pretty early, hm?)  and all the activity of the schoolyard pauses for a moment. I look out occasionally, surprised to realize that none of you kids are still there.  From a distance the children look pretty much alike.  I became aware, only while you attended Le Conte [Junior High School], that they were not the same children year after year.  It is quite conceivable that there are children of children attending school this year.  It will be twenty years next March that I have worked on this lot.  It is hard to think of myself as sixteen, having worked here that long, it means I started four years before I was born.

I wrote to [my sister] Dottie on her birthday, Sept. 27th, and got a lovely letter back.  She sends her love and highest regards to you.  A very, very fine person, mother, and sister.

I’m sending a myriad of kisses this morning because I have always wanted to use that word and because it means innumerable.

Love lOve loVe lovE LOVE! …….

s/Chuck (thy sire)

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 12 Post:

Friday, October 3, 1952

Good morning, my darling!

We put the finishung touches on “Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½th Century”
yesterday, saw it complete with music, sound, color—the works, in
short.  It’s a parody on the “Space Cadet”, “Captain Video”, type
television show, but the funny thing is, it came out not only quite
funny, but exciting, too.  The backgrounds were beautiful and very 24 ½
th cen-tury-ish.  Try to say 24 ½ th century.  It’s very difficult, is
it “twenty-fourth and a half” or “twenty-four and a halfth”?

There’s a nice word in the first sentence up there:  “Fin-ishung”,
sounds like a Chinese fabric.  SPECIAL TODAY!!  GENUINE FINISHUNG,
Imported from Lontung, China!!  $2.34 a yard!!  Don’t be pitied by your
neighbors!  You, too, can be dressed in fashionable, easy-to-clean
FINISHUNG!!

My diet ends tomorrow.  I have lost ten and one half pounds and look
quite stylish.  [We are going to a] dinner party tomorrow night and I
presume the food will be quite fancy.  I hope I have the good sense to
take it easy as my stomach has become used to what are genially called
“bland” foods.  You know, Linda, I really haven’t minded it.  I’ve
gotten to appreciate the rabbit’s point of view: green vegetables are
really delicious, especially raw.

I hear the Le Conte [Jr. High School] bugle tootling away behind me
(I’m at the studio pretty early, hm?)  and all the activity of the
schoolyard pauses for a moment. I look out occasionally, surprised to
realize that none of you kids are still there.  From a distance the
children look pretty much alike.  I became aware, only while you
attended Le Conte [Junior High School], that they were not the same
children year after year.  It is quite conceivable that there are
children of children attending school this year.  It will be twenty
years next March that I have worked on this lot.  It is hard to think
of myself as sixteen, having worked here that long, it means I started
four years before I was born.

I wrote to [my sister] Dottie on her birthday, Sept. 27th, and got a
lovely letter back.  She sends her love and highest regards to you.  A
very, very fine person, mother, and sister.

I’m sending a myriad of kisses this morning because I have always wanted to use that word and because it means innumerable.

Love lOve loVe lovE LOVE! …….

s/Chuck (thy sire)

Arbor Day + Audubon + Chuck Jones Gallery = Awesome!

by Michael Bundy

The Arbor Day event was a great success! The Acequia Madre kids walked from
their school which is about a half mile away and considering the kids were all
between the ages of 6 and 8 that was an accomplishment in and of itself. After the kids
settled into the gallery they gathered to listen to a reading of The Lorax
which was expertly read by Jeremy from the Audubon Society and the kids were  enraptured.

Arbor Day 041

After a brief Q & A the
children were given book marks which had been made by the Audubon staff. The
book marks had the Audubon, and Chuck Jones logos on one side and 5 easy ways to help the
environment on the other side.

Next we set the kids loose
with crayons and paper and they commenced to create inspired drawings in the
unfettered way that only kids have. The result of which you can see for yourself.

Arbor Day 044 

Arbor Day 056  

Finally we planted a lovely
and quite Seussian looking Japanese maple in the courtyard planter with each
child grabbing a handful of soil and helping to plant the tree. The final touch
was the placing of a brick on the planter wall which read UNLESS.  

Arbor Day 069 

Arbor Day 074

The nighttime opening was
well attended and we raised $200 for the Audubon Society.
  All and all a very special
day in Santa Fe
.  

Arbor Day 062

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 11 Post: (Part Three and final part of this letter)

There it is, my dear, my darling, and I hope it is written so that some of what I mean comes through.  I cannot tell, in rereading it, whether it does or not. 

I want you to give this experience a fair trial.  I want you to give it an open minded, a good humored, humorous approach.  I want you to give it the benefit of the doubt.  I want you to see if there are things to be learned by it and fun to be had with it.  I want you to evaluate it as an intelligent, thinking person, as the intelligent, thinking person you are. 

I do not want you to count the days until we come to visit you, but rather to see what can be done with those days, what new things may be gained from the experiences contained therein.

If under those conditions and with those considerations you come to me and say, “Daddy, I don’t want to continue here,” that will be all you need to say.  I will respect your judgment and immediate steps will be taken to discontinue your stay there.  Right?

If you were anyone but the person you are I would be uneasy about being as frank as I have been.  I believe I have talked as frankly to you today as I am capable of talking.  I cannot conceive of any man in my acquaintance being able to talk so to his daughter or son.  This makes me very proud.

Enough of the serious? 

Very well.  In the middle of the foregoing page we had a practice air raid alert.  Everyone filed out of the building and into the basement of an adjoining building.  Nothing at all dramatic or unusual happened, but for the first time in years I saw the studio personnel as a group.  A very odd looking bunch of people.  Some very distinguished looking, mostly inbetweeners.  All the creative people look rather undistinguished, not at all like men in Hathaway shirts (remember the ad in the New Yorker with the gent with the black-patched eye?).

Boy, my typing today is superb, looks like I’m writing with boxing gloves on.

I’d better stop before I go completely unreadable.

I LOVE YOU

Daddy……. Chuck

In re-reading this letter it is apparent to me that I forgot to mention that your letters have been wonderful.  Real jewels and that I’m happy to acknowledge that nowhere in them did you complain or beef.  If you weren’t a Lady, I’d say you were every inch a Gentleman.

d(addy). or c(huck). (whichever you like)

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 11 Post: (Part Three and final part of this letter)

There
it is, my dear, my darling, and I hope it is written so that some of
what I mean comes through.  I cannot tell, in rereading it, whether it
does or not. 

I want
you to give this experience a fair trial.  I want you to give it an
open minded, a good humored, humorous approach.  I want you to give it
the benefit of the doubt.  I want you to see if there are things to be
learned by it and fun to be had with it.  I want you to evaluate it as
an intelligent, thinking person, as the intelligent, thinking person
you are. 

I do not
want you to count the days until we come to visit you, but rather to
see what can be done with those days, what new things may be gained
from the experiences contained therein.

If
under those conditions and with those considerations you come to me and
say, “Daddy, I don’t want to continue here,” that will be all you need
to say.  I will respect your judgment and immediate steps will be taken
to discontinue your stay there.  Right?

If
you were anyone but the person you are I would be uneasy about being as
frank as I have been.  I believe I have talked as frankly to you today
as I am capable of talking.  I cannot conceive of any man in my
acquaintance being able to talk so to his daughter or son.  This makes
me very proud.

Enough of the serious? 

Very
well.  In the middle of the foregoing page we had a practice air raid
alert.  Everyone filed out of the building and into the basement of an
adjoining building.  Nothing at all dramatic or unusual happened, but
for the first time in years I saw the studio personnel as a group.  A
very odd looking bunch of people.  Some very distinguished looking,
mostly inbetweeners.  All the creative people look rather
undistinguished, not at all like men in Hathaway shirts (remember the
ad in the New Yorker with the gent with the black-patched eye?).

Boy, my typing today is superb, looks like I’m writing with boxing gloves on.

I’d better stop before I go completely unreadable.

I LOVE YOU

Daddy……. Chuck

In
re-reading this letter it is apparent to me that I forgot to mention
that your letters have been wonderful.  Real jewels and that I’m happy
to acknowledge that nowhere in them did you complain or beef.  If you
weren’t a Lady, I’d say you were every inch a Gentleman.

d(addy). or c(huck). (whichever you like)