Sidney Hamburg always carries a sketchbook wherever he goes, something he’s done since he was a teenage student at the National Academy of Design in Manhattan. Today, the former graphic artist and designer of the iconic Mickey Mouse Club logo is finding artistic inspiration in his surroundings at Prospect Park Residence, the elegant senior living community in the heart of Park Slope.
Hamburg, who enjoyed a lengthy career as a freelance graphic artist, moved to the full-service community last year to be near his son, who lives in the neighborhood. His apartment is filled with his original oil paintings, watercolors, pencil and charcoal sketches, greeting cards, and the pen and ink drawings that were used on apparel for Walt Disney Studios and in several comic book series. Most recognizable are Hamburg’s original graphic designs for Disney’s Davey Crockett show, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as the ink drawing of the Mouseketeer logo used on all the hats and merchandise for the original Mickey Mouse Club.
“I worked in a broad range of media and styles,” explained Hamburg, who got his start in his late teens in New York City. “For the Disney silkscreen graphics, we would work on blotter paper to mimic the effect of ink on fabric. We did the silkscreen work by hand – that was my favorite time.”
These days, Hamburg’s busy schedule at Prospect Park Residence complements the time he devotes to his art. “I’ve made so many friends here; every day someone drops by to ask me to join an activity. There’s always something happening here,” he said, adding that he still fills his pads with sketches of local Park Slope sights and personalities.
“Mr. Hamburg has created an impressive body of work throughout his career and continues to do what he loves with his sketches,” said David Pomerantz, executive director of Prospect Park Residence. “Many of our residents are continuing lifelong hobbies or exploring new interests here.” Pomerantz explained that the community’s weekly fine arts classes are quite popular, and participants display their artwork twice a year at special resident exhibits.
In addition to art classes, residents enjoy the community’s book club, current events and philosophy discussion groups, musical programs, educational lectures, and weekly outings to attractions and sites throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Hamburg, who originally wanted to be a portrait artist, worked for several years as an illustrator for the Captain Marvel Junior comic books; however, he preferred drawing images for a New York-based firm that did silkscreen work for Disney Studios and greeting card companies, including a series of Dickens-inspired Christmas cards that are framed and hanging in his apartment.
Last year, Prospect Park Residence used Hamburg’s sketch of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial arch, Brooklyn’s version of the Arc de Triomphe, as the cover art for its annual holiday card. “I like to go outside and draw what I see around me,” said Hamburg, who enjoys all that the vibrant Park Slope neighborhood offers. “The area is great; it’s a wonderful neighborhood. The park, the art museum – it’s all right here,” he added.
Also decorating his walls are many of the thumbnail sketches and watercolors he captured during his travels around the world with his wife. “No matter where we traveled through Europe, I always had a sketch pad with me,” Hamburg said. “It’s no different today.”
Source: Press Release