Biography from the archives of


Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, Joshua Meador became a painter and animator in California. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 1935 moved to California where until the 1960s, he lived in La Crescenta, and then moved to Casper in Northern California. He died there on August 24, 1964 from a massive heart attack caused by childhood congenital problems.


Although it has been rumored that Meador's paintings were purchased by Walt Disney and exhibited at Disneyland, this is untrue. Disney had purchased the paintings only while the artist was living, and Disney's collection of Meador paintings consisted of about 50 paintings, which were and are displayed at the various homes of Disney's heirs.


Recently about 16 of these canvases were returned by the Disney family to the family of the artist and were paintings that had hung at Meador's Palm Springs home at the Smoke Tree Ranch. (Philip Meador).


During his career as a special effect director, Meador worked for Disney Productions. His credits include SNOW WHITE, BAMBI, FANTASIA and PINNOCHO as well as FORBIDDEN PLANET, in which he animated the Creature from the Id and all of the electrical effects for this release from MGM Pictures.


In his spare time, he pursued his talent for fine-art painting, and in 1946, began exhibiting his landscapes, harbor scenes, seascapes and city views. For many of his paintings, he used a palette knife, and a popular subject for him was the Mendocino Coast in Northern California.


After Meador's death, there were a couple of memorial one-man shows including one at Barnsdale Park in Los Angeles and one at the Conacher Galleries in San Francisco. 


Note from Karen Farr, November 2003: 


Joshua Meador was involved in both animation of Disney animated features from Pinnochio through Fantasia as well as special effects for major movies like The Absent Minded Professor (1961) and 2000 Leagues Under the Sea. He received an Oscar for special effects in 2000 Leagues Under the Sea. A Web search using "Joshua & Meador & Disney" will net about 70 valid references.


Credits: Philip L. Meador, Son of Joshua L. Meador / Edan Milton Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940