Saturday, 22 May 2021

Terry Lind

When the 1940s rolled around and credits loosened up on theatrical cartoons, named appeared briefly, and then vanished.

One is Terry Lind, a background painter with the Walter Lantz studio. Lind started there in September 1944, with a screen credit for the first time on The Loose Nut, released on December 17, 1945. Her name appears on most of the studio’s cartoons released in 1946 and then she disappears. Yes, Terry Lind is not a “he.”

She also turned up at Warner Bros. but with cartoons made so far in advance, but it’s tough to say when she actually worked there. And with credits wiped off Merrie Melodies of the day and replaced with a Blue Ribbon title, it’s unknown how many cartoons she worked on. Surviving screen credits show she painted the backgrounds for Rhapsody Rabbit, released November 9, 1946, and the Oscar-winning Tweetie Pie, released May 3, 1947. Author Joe Adamson’s research found Lind painted the backgrounds for the former in April 1946.

Some more digging found a maddening reference to Lind in the December 20, 1944 edition of “Top Cel,” the newsletter of the New York local of the Screen Cartoonists Guild. It simply says “Terry Lind back at work after illness.” But where? Not all the news involved East Coast studios (eg. the same issue announced Bernadette and Sidnet Pillet were now working for Lantz).

It turns out Lind was employed by the Fleischers in Miami. The Pittsburgh Press published this story in 1939.

Noted Paintings Useless When Film Is Done

HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 27 – More than 100 paintings by some of the foremost artists of the country today became mere bits of paper, in so far as the Fleisher Studios were concerned.
The paintings are backgrounds for scenes in “Gulliver’s Travels.” They are the equivalent of sets in non-cartoon movies.
The backgrounds are finished pieces of work drawn with such minute detail that no flaw can be detected when the scene is amplified 100 times by projecting it on a movie screen. All of them are water colors.
However, once the characters in “Gulliver’s Travels” have been superimposed on paintings and photographed, the paintings have no further value to the studio. The paintings are the work of such artists as Louis Jambor, Erich Schenck, Robert Connavale, Shane Miller, Robert Little, Henry Farnham, Helen Freeman, Hemia Calpini, Robert Owen, Terry Lind, Louis Sylvester, Harry Wylie and Starke Davis.

Fortunately, the studio didn’t junk them. Not right away. On January 7, 1940, the News revealed a showing of the artwork by the background department at the studios of Associated Artists in the Leamington Hotel. There were oils by Robert Little, oils and drawings by Shane Miller and Robert Connavale, and water colours and etchings by Earl Klein, Ralph Wolfe and Lind, among others.

So who was Terry Lind? Fortunately, the Miami Herald reported on some of her background in Doris Reno’s column published August 24, 1941.

A TALENTED and attractive young lady out at the Fleischer Studios can either remember her childhood with extraordinary detail or else she knows children who let her in on secrets—or else, finally, she's still in possession of a child's heart—for those adorable drawings of child attitudes and moods she has over at Washington Art Galleries (in the Washington Storage Company building, Miami Beach) simply insist ou the truth of one of the above statements.
Terry Lind's child water-colors — for children as well as about them—show children in straight short colored frocks in varying attitudes skipping; hesitating, advancing, with flowers growing out of their hair with enchanted bands and feet that grasp at all fairy things in a child’s world. They are rhythmic, well-designed and organized, necessarily modern but one thing is important to repeat—they are not like so many of the modern books labeled "children's books" designed in make their appeal to parents while purporting to be made for the child alone. Terry Lind's child fantasies express childhood to parents and elders but they are for children and children like them.
Terry, one of the background artists out at Fleischer's, was born in Cleveland, studied at the School of Art there and at John Huntington Polytechnic school. Later, in New York, she was assistant medical artist at the College for Physicians and Surgeons and drew literally books full of diseases and psychopathic charts. After that she designed silks for a New York textile studio before removing to Miami three years ago for the express purpose or being with Fleischer's. Terry has more sophisticated water-colors and etchings at the Washington Galleries, too—Balinese dancers, sit sorts of strange Oriental studies. But I’ll take the child things, thank you.

The Herald’s Reno checked in with her again on August 31, 1947, stating Lind “has just founded in Hollywood her own studio for doing color backgrounds for technicolor pictures. After leaving Miami she worked for Walt Disney on animation then did background work for the "woodpecker" cartoons.” She last appears in the 1941 Miami directory. The 1944, 1946 and 1948 California Voters Lists have a Miss Theresa A. Lind, artist, at 12329 Huston Avenue in Los Angeles. That’s where our trail goes cold. I can find no birth or death record even resembling part of her name that could be her.

Did she have a different name at birth? Did she have two legal names? The answers are probably out there somewhere.

My thanks to Devon Baxter for his help in photo-clipping and trying to help unravel the mystery.

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