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 Elmer Ginzel Plummer  (1910 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: California/Oregon      Known for: landscape, figure, and social realist genre painting, graphics

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Ad Code: 3
Elmer Ginzel Plummer
from Auction House Records.
Fantasia Pastel Production Drawing Animation Art (Walt Disney, 1940)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Redlands, CA on Nov. 6, 1910. Plummer began painting during high school. He then studied on a three-year scholarship at the Chouinard Art School (and later taught there) under Millard Sheets and others. In 1934 he began work in the art department at Warner Bros and then moved to Disney Studios where he remained for many years. Most of his career was spent in Hollywood and his native city. He died in Junction City, OR on Dec. 31, 1986. Exh: Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1930s; LA Co. Fair, 1932 (1st prize), 1939; Calif. WC Society, 1932-42; LA AA, 1934 (award); Hesse Gallery (Glendale), 1935; Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1936; Calif. State Fair, 1938 (3rd prize); PAFA, 1938; AIC, 1939; GGIE, 1939; Chouinard Alumni, 1954. In: Orange Co. (CA) Museum; White House (Washington, DC); Pasadena YMCA (mural); Riverside (CA) High School; San Diego Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
California Arts and Architecture list, 1932; Who's Who in American Art 1940; Who's Who in California 1942; Variety, 1-13-1987 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A student of the Chouinard Art Institute during the early 1930s, Elmer Plummer was selected to be a student assistant to David Siqueiros on a mural for the Institute courtyard.

In 1934, he became a studio artist for Warner Brothers and then worked for Walt Disney Studios where he stayed for many years. "Fantasia" and "Dumbo" were two of the many films on which he worked.

During the later part of his career, he also taught at Chouinard and at the California Institute of the Arts. From 1933 to 1942, he was active in the California Watercolor Society.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

Biography from Spencer Jon Helfen Fine Arts:
Elmer Plummer's paintings document the everyday life of 1930s America - men and women at their daily work, children going to school - with a sense of both the landscape and the social context of these activities.

Elmer Ginzel Plummer was born in Redlands, California, in 1910.  His childhood friends included Phil Dike, Lee Blair, and Preston Blair.  As a teenager Plummer attended a San Diego area military school, and studied watercolor painting during his high school years.

During the late 1920s Plummer received a scholarship to continue his studies at the Chouinard Art Institute under, among others, Millard Sheets and Clarence Hinkle. In 1932, while still at Chouinard, Plummer was selected to be one of the assistants to David Alfaro Siqueiros on a mural for the school's courtyard, working alongside Merrell Gage, Paul Sample, Millard Sheets, Phil Paradise, Barse Miller, and Lee Blair.

In 1934 Plummer became a studio artist for Warner Bros., and later became a close friend of Walt Disney.  Thus began Plummer's long association with Walt Disney Studios, where he produced art and also developed content ideas for both short cartoons and feature films such as "Fantasia" and "Dumbo."

From the early 1930s to 1942, Plummer was active in the California Watercolor Society, creating watercolors both for the Works Progress Administration and also exhibiting extensively, with Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles, the Art Institute of Chicago, and at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. He also won awards in exhibitions at the Los Angeles Art Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Los Angeles County and California State Fairs.

After World War II, Plummer continued to work with Walt Disney Studios and also taught at the Chouinard Art Institute and the California Institute of the Arts, but painted only occasionally and rarely exhibited his work after the mid-1940s. Elmer Plummer passed away in Junction City, Oregon, in 1986.

Biography from
Biography provided courtesy of "California Watercolors 1850-1970" By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last.

Elmer Plummer (1910-1987)...Born: Redlands, CA

Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles)

Member: California Water Color Society.

Elmer Plummer grew up in Redlands, California. As a child, he was friends with Phil Dike, Lee Blair and Preston Blair, but when he was a teenager, he was sent to military school in the San Diego area. He studied watercolor painting in high school and received further instruction from Millard Sheets when he attended the Chouinard Art Institute during the late 1920s.

Plummer soon became close friends with Walt Disney and worked at the Disney Studios. He produced art and developed many of the gag and comic ideas for cartoon shorts featuring Goofy. Some of the feature films he contributed to include Fantasia, Dumbo and The Tbree Caballeros.

During the 1930s, he produced many outstanding California Style regionalist watercolors. He often chose to depict city scenes with cars, buildings and people. They were sold at Los Angeles art galleries and exhibited in West Coast art shows.

After World War 11, Plummer continued working on special projects for Wait Disney and taught art at the Chouinard Art Institute. He occasionally painted, but rarely exhibited his art after the mid-1940s.

Biographical information: Interview with Elmer Plummer, 1984.

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