In 1965, Eric Sloane was approached by Walt Disney (or perhaps, more accurately, by representatives of the Disney Company) to see if the author/artist might sell the rights to Diary of an Early American Boy so that the studio could spin the story into a Disney movie. Sloane must have asked – or the production company disclosed – how much they were willing to spend to secure the rights. Sloane rejected that amount, stating that it was an “astonishingly paltry sum” (Eighty). Eric Sloane responded to Walt Disney via a letter in a way he intended to be humorous: “I am well aware of your frugality and I feel embarrassed at your offer. I so admire your work, however, that I’d rather give you the script for nothing, but I am sure my wife (and my psychiatrist) would object to that…I might settle for two bucks” (Eighty). A check for two dollars soon arrived from Walt Disney Productions, along with a seventeen-page contract. Not to be outdone, Sloane promptly found an appropriate location to hand his now framed check: over the toilet in his studio bathroom. The framed check remains in the possession of the Eric Sloane Museum of Kent, Connecticut, hung in Eric’s (recreated) studio.
Photo from Wil Mauch’s Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane. Learn more about this most fascinating of American artists by visiting www.weatherhillfarm.com.
Learn more about how the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum supports and promotes the legacy of Eric Sloane through a robust partnership with the Eric Sloane Museum by visiting us at www.friendsoftheericsloanemuseum.org.