RON BARBAGALLO is the director of Animation
Art Conservation, a conservation practice devoted to the ethical
repair and preservation of classic animation art. He has a
firm understanding of the paint technique, color styling and
the actual chemistry of the materials used in producing animation
art from the classics from the 1920’s to the present
day. He has pioneered the mending and re-adhering of the original
fractured opaqued animation paint layer to its original cel
sheet. This technique allows him to repair the art without
having to resort to repainting with new paint. Barbagallo
has completed humidity and temperature tests on tri-acetate
on the complete line of Cartoon Colour paints. He maintains
an active archive of every character color he has worked on
and has been compiling a visual guide to the seals, certificates
and ink stamps which identify authentic Walt Disney Production
and limited edition art.
company, ANIMATION ART CONSERVATION, has a client list which
includes the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera,
Christie’s East, Linda Jones Enterprises, United Productions
of America (UPA), museums, galleries and private collectors
worldwide and the personal collections of Stephen Ison and
Roy E. Disney. His work in conservation has included preserving
and archiving major collections of animation art, as well
as having conducted the first comprehensive study for the
preservation of the puppets created for Nightmare Before
Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Tim
Burton's Corspe Bride. Barbagallo has handled the conservation
of the Mary Grandpre pastels created for all the Harry
Potter films and the preservation of the animation artifacts
that survived the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.
One of this country's leading authorities on the materials
used in animation art production and their deterioration,
Barbagallo addressed an international assembly at the Winter
meeting of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic
and Artistic Works at The National Gallery of Art in Washington
D.C. on March 4th, 1995. His talk was entitled “Mickey,
Donald, Goofy & Pluto - What’s Breaking Up That
Old Gang Of Mine?” In addition, since 1995, Barbagallo
has written regularly about the artists and business people
working in animation.
A native of New Jersey, Barbagallo studied both animation
and painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City,
where he received his B.F.A. in 1981. As a student, he received
two of S.V.A.’s highest achievements: The Roy Lichtenstein
Award and The Rhodes Family Award. While just a freshman,
one of his first paintings, “Snow White at the Wishing
Well,” was exhibited at the Allied Artists of America
65th Annual Exhibit at the National Academy Gallery in Manhattan.
This exhibit was recorded in the archives of the Smithsonian
Before working as a conservator, Barbagallo worked as an illustrator.
He designed and illustrated artwork for Pocket Books, Washington
Square Press, Fortune Magazine, Penthouse International, Readers’
Digest, Deutsch Advertising in NYC and was chosen by CBS Records
to update the logo design for The Wizard of Oz 50th Anniversary
Soundtrack. Some of his book cover illustrations were done
for novels by Isaac Asimov and Tama Janowitz.
Barbagallo’s paintings have been exhibited in the United
States and Japan.