Joshua Meador 1911-1965

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Joshua Meador The Last Symphony Signature The Last Symphony # 475
the Meador family collection
Oil on Linen, 24 x 34

Joshua Meador The Last Symphony
Joshua Meador was asked by Walt Disney to create a surrealist painting for a reception for
Salvador Dali during his visit to the Disney Studios during 1946.
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Joshua Meador The Last Symphony with frame

Joshua Meador The Last Symphony Closeup

From our July '15 Newsletter

Disney and Dali by a Lake
Salvador Dali and Walt
Disney & Dali: Architects of Imagination,
Disney Family Museum , July 10 - Jan 3

At a 1945 dinner party hosted by Jack Warner, Walt Disney met Salvador Dali. Dali was pleased to come to California. He was excited to meet three Americans whom he considered America's greatest surrealists, Cecil B. DeMille, Harpo Marx and Walt Disney.

Prior to the dinner, Walt had read Dali's autobiography and sent his copy to Dali to be autographed. In a letter accompanying his book, Walt floated an idea that Dali work with Disney Studios in creating a piece of animation on the lines of Fantasia. At the dinner, the two renewed their interest in a collaboration of some kind.

Dali became a Disney fan because of the surrealist ideas utilized in Walt's early Silly Symphony series between 1929 and 1939 and the brilliance of Fantasia in 1939.

Soon afterward, Dali settled on the subject and title for their collaboration. After scouring Disney's vast music library, he chose Ray Gilbert and Armando Dominguez’s ballad “Destino.” He was taken by the title "Destino," as he had long been interested in exploring ideas of destiny.

Although it isn't recorded anywhere, perhaps Dali, at some level, believed he and Disney were destined to work together. At the time of their meeting, Salvador was 46 and Walt 44. They were both young and fabulously successful artists. Each of them respected the other's creative spirit and body of work, and both shared, in what Associated Press writer Michael Liedtke termed, "a fascination with the fantastic."

Salvador and Walt
Walt Disney showing off his backyard train set to Salvadore Dali
Walt shows Dali one of his greatest treasures,
his backyard model train in 1951.

Both were unafraid to challenge convention and equally fearless to face risk. Together, they decided to explore making something special happen.

In 1946, the idea hopper was filled and work began. Dali split his time between Pebble Beach and the Disney Studios. Outlines were suggested and ideas of treatment were explored. Striking a balance between live-action and animation were discussed, as well as concept drawings. But as the work progressed, it became more apparent that differences in approach existed.

Walt and Lillian Disney visiting Salvador Dali in Spain in 1957
Salvador Dali hosts Walt and Lillian Disney
at his home in Spain, 1957
Joshua Meador The Last Symphony
Joshua Meador's "The Last Symphony,"

This painting is rooted in the Silly Symphonies Series and the opening sequence of Fantasia.
Walt Disney asked Joshua Meador to create a painting as an homage to Salvador Dali
to be exhibitied at a studio reception for Dali in 1946.
This painting is currently on view and available at Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery