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The Art of Warner Brothers Cartoons

Are you old enough to remember wintery Saturday mornings, lined up like little Indians on the living room sofa, while grainy black-and-white images darted hectically across an early television screen?

Before our very eyes, Bugs Bunny endlessly outwitted the fusty Elmer Fudd. Wile E. Coyote never laid a paw on his arch rival, the Road Runner and Tweetie Bird constantly thwarted the machinations of Sylvester the cat.

The whole cast of colorful characters and one-of-a-kind artwork that made up those enchanting cartoons will again brighten the winter doldrums at the Berkshire Museum as part of The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons, an exhibition of original artwork from the world of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.

An opening celebration featuring family-friendly activities, cartoon screenings and light refreshments will be held Saturday, January 25th, from 1 to 5PM.

Fans of all ages can see production artwork including drawings, paintings, and transparent celluloids (known as “cels”) used to create some of the studio’s classic cartoon shorts from their debut in 1930 through the early 1960s. Never intended to be displayed, each work is a visual icon on its own, exhibiting the talent and ingenuity behind the familiar films.

Artwork, timelines, film clips and interpretive panels shed light on the creative process behind the scenes, trace the development of each iconic cartoon star and explore the techniques through which animated films are made.

A complete cast of Warner Bros. characters will be on display, from Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, to Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Yosemite Sam and even Sniffles the Mouse and Witch Hazel.

Complementing the cartoon characters will be an assortment of scientific and historical specimens from the museum’s collection that provide real-world context to the animated favorites, including a preserved coyote, canary, rabbit and duck, as well as cast iron frying pans, dynamite and six shooters.

On Saturday mornings, visitors to The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons can visit the Museum’s theater to enjoy a collection of the classic shorts that have delighted audiences for 90 years. The fun continues in the Museum’s Lab 102 space where adults and children are invited to experiment with animation techniques through hands-on activities.

The Museum is located at 39 South Street (Route 7) in Pittsfield MA. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM and Sunday, noon to 5PM. Admission is $13; free for children under 18, more information call 413-443-7171 or visit the link below.