As the world prepares to celebrate Mickey’s 90th anniversary this month, Mickey: The True Original Exhibition opens in New York City with an incredible array of artwork and memorabilia inspired by the beloved mouse.
Inside the Magic had the chance to preview the new exhibition ahead of its official opening on Thursday, November 8. Inside the sprawling 16,000-square-foot exhibition, visitors can see both historic and contemporary work by renowned artists. In addition to original pieces inspired by Mickey, special items like Walt Disney’s Academy Award for “Flowers and Trees” (1932) and Annette Funicello’s costumes from “The Mickey Mouse Club” are on display.
When visiting, it’s recommended you plan to spend about 90 minutes exploring. You can walk through at your own speed, but there’s a lot to see and I easily spent close to 90 minutes wandering through the entire exhibition. After watching a short welcome video highlighting Mickey’s changing look over the past 90 years, guests are invited to start their tour.
Note: The artists who created each piece are listed as much as possible throughout this article, but for more information on the artists featured in this exhibition, visit the official website here.
The exhibition is located at 60 10th Avenue in New York City (between W 14th and W 15th Street), with the A/C/E trains at 14th Street your closest subway station.
The first room in the exhibition introduces guests to Mickey with Walt Disney’s Oscar, neon Mickey Mouse sketches, a replica of the steamboat from “Steamboat Willie,” props for “Steamboat Willie Redux” (a reimagining of the original cartoon short), and more.
It’s Black & White
Ink & Paint
This hallway served as a bridge between Mickey’s black & white era and his transition into vibrant color. One wall was lined with a modern interpretation of the jars from the Ink & Paint Department’s Paint Lab, while the other wall displayed photographs of the women of Ink & Paint hard at work.
Burst Into Color
Mickey Mouse Club
In this room, Ample Hills Creamery was serving up samples of their Disney Mickey Mouse Collection, which features three ice cream flavors: Triple Chocolate Surprise, Confetti Celebration, and Peanut Butter Jamboree. I tried Confetti Celebration (sweet cream ice cream with confetti cake, ribbons of yellow buttercream frosting and yellow Mickey-shaped white chocolate pieces filled with lemon cream) and it was delicious.
You can pre-order pints this trio of Mickey-inspired ice cream from the Ample Hills website for $45, or see if your local Ample Hills scoop shop is participating.
1928 Original Muse
Mickey’s Maker Shop
The exhibition’s retail store has some of Mickey’s 90th merchandise we already know and love, like the Sugarfina candy collection. There are also lots of unique apparel, ear hats, and souvenirs. Be warned — it’s easy to spend money in this shop, but you can find something for every budget. I walked away with a new Mickey Mouse t-shirt for about $15 plus tax, though I was definitely tempted to buy more.
Baseball caps and t-shirts can be personalized with your choice of patches, which will be applied to your liking in the store. Mickey: The True Original Exhibition ear hats can be personalized, too.
If you prefer, you can visit the retail store without touring the exhibition. It’s open to the public Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM. The store is closed on Mondays.
There’s one final room to visit on your way out. Attached to the store and hidden behind a dark black curtain, the Cosmic Cavern is a surreal, overwhelming tribute to Mickey Mouse. Pictures don’t really do it justice, but you can take a 360° tour of Kenny Scharf’s creation below.
These are some of the artists who contributed to Mickey: The True Original Exhibition:
- Darren Romanelli
- Amanda Ross-Ho
- Kenny Scharf
- Shinique Smith
- Tanya Aguiñiga
- London Kaye
- Daniel Arsham
- Brian Bress
- Brian Roettinger
- Oliver Clegg
- Katherine Bernhardt
- Oliver Payne
- Keichi Tanaami
- James Jean
- Ariana Papademetropoulos
- Michael Bosanko
- John Rankin
- James Fauntleroy
- Javier Sánchez Medina
- Michael John Kelly
- Tetsuya Nomura
The exhibition and retail store, located at 60 10th Avenue, New York, NY, 10014, is open from November 8, 2018 – February 10, 2019.