Photo by Dean Diaz 1997 Warner Bros.
Celebrated as one of the greatest directors from the Golden Age of animation, Chuck Jones drew for a living, and he drew for pleasure and challenge. His passion for drawing was both work and full time hobby, providing an outlet for imagination.
This exhibition contains original drawings, most never publicly displayed, including a section of 50 so‐called "Doodles," perhaps best described as coming from one artist's very far side. He won three Oscars, including one on display in this exhibition, and a fourth Lifetime Achievement Oscar.
Jones helped bring to life many of Warner Bros. most famous characters—Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig. The list of characters he created himself includes Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe le Pew, Michigan J. Frog, and many others. Chuck Jones brought the Grinch to life from what were previously two-dimensional drawings. He directed "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a television classic, as well as the feature-length film "The Phantom Tollbooth." In addition, Jones was a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide.
After the death of his first wife, Jones met and married the love of his life, Marian Dern, who remained his best friend, lover, and companion for the rest of his life. The majority of drawings included in Chuck Jones: Doodles of a Genius are from the private collection of Jones' widow, Marian. In recent years, Jones' work has been honored at film festivals and museums throughout the world, including a one-man retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1999, Jones established the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, designed to encourage the art of character animation, and foster the creative spirit, especially among young people. This exhibition is presented in cooperation with the non-profit Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.
Chuck Jones drew nearly every day of his life. He drew sketches of his famous Warner Bros. characters, of people, of animals, of trees and boats. He drew whatever 'doodles' his right brain might dream. Jones died at the age of 89 in February 2002, but he leaves a legacy of brilliance, comedy, joy, color, and laughter that will live on forever. Chuck Jones: Doodles of a Genius is on view at the Bowers Museum from April 26 through August 3, 2014.