Mickey Exhumation Artwork by William Barry Roberts

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Art Description

New Media: Pencil on Paper.

In 1938, his tiny body was placed with the utmost care into a silk-lined matchbox coffin, then buried, only to be exhumed 8 months later and placed on a bookshelf by the grieving Walter Disney. Upon sliding open the matchbox cover, several of the “special” Disney staff members remarked at how well his body had remained intact, almost as if he was just still sleeping.

Mickey Mouse of course had died, but it has been suggested that perhaps Walter Disney had Mickey’s body “treated” (embalmed) after the devastating loss. It was after all, Mickey that launched Disney’s career and the entire franchise that has successfully persisted up until the present times. Excesses from stardom most likely contributed to the drug-related death. I was asked to “visually record” the remains as no photography of any kind was allowed. He was laid to rest in the garments he was made so famous in, the colors less saturated and bit stained from the leaking body fluids. There was surprisingly just a hint of a smell of decomposition from the mini corpse. He appeared to be drained of all fluids and was just emaciated tissue over bone. His entire corpse could fit well within the palm of my hands, such a large presence on-screen, but so fragile and tiny in death. -W.B.R.


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Mickey Exhumation

William Barry Roberts

United States

New Media

Size: 8.5 W x 11 H x 1 in

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