Disney's First Latino Artist at the Hilbert

Carlos Manríquez, Angels Flight, probably early 1930s
Supporters of Chapman University's Hilbert Museum of California Art have established a new fund to augment the founding collection of Mark and Janet Hilbert. The first purchase is a watercolor of downtown L.A.'s Angels Flight railway by Carlos Manríquez (1908-1981). 

Manríquez is believed to have been the Disney studio's first Latino artist. As the story has it, 20-year-old Manríquez was sketching in a park when a stranger saw his work and offered him a job on the spot. The man was Walt Disney. Manríquez became a background artist for Disney before moving to Warner Brothers and then establishing his own animation studio in Mexico City. His long career spanned Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Bugs Bunny, and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Like many early animation artists, Manríquez had personal projects, favoring American Scene subject matter. The Hilbert watercolor of 1930s L.A. is an independent work probably made during Manríquez's tenure at Disney. 
1930s photo of Disney staff. Manríquez is just to the left of Walt, in a hat, and the Mickey Mouse cut-out