ALBERT HURTER was the first visual development artist in the disney studio, most of characters and environments for the disney shorts in the thirties, the SILLY SYMPHONIES, but as well as for the features SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, PINOCCHIO, DUMBO, FANTASIA and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON were designed by him. born in switzerland in 1883 he studied architecture in zurich and went then for seven years to an art academy in berlin. probably because of the dangerous situation and the beginning of WWI he left europe in 1914 and went to new york where he was introduced to the animation film industry. in the barre-bowers studio he worked on the MUTT & JEFF cartoons and became very fast well known for his amazing drawing talents. around 1930 he applied for work at the disney studio where he was disney’s VISUAL SKETCH ARTIST for more than a decade, drawing whatever came to his mind, playing with the ideas of a new story and working on films they would be produced long after his death, like PETER PAN and LADY AND THE TRAMP. I am sure that he introduced the disney artists to european masters like HEINRICH KLEY, WILHELM BUSCH and the caricature artists of the SIMPLIZISSIMUS. in 1942 he died of a weak heart, and seven years later a book HE DREW AS HE PLEASED was pubished, put together by TED SEARS, one of the story artists hurter had worked with. the book has about 700 of hurter’s sketches throughout his years at disney, and a lot of them have always been my favorites. I post them below in a bigger size.
© albert hurter and disney enterprises, inc