Colorful "Ice Skater Girl"
This is a rare original signed pencil-watercolor sketch by Marilyn Sotto. I purchased this from her in person, she told me that she had painted it in the 1950's or 1960's and that it had never been published. She was very nice, she even signed it for me again! So there are two signatures, one vintage watercolor and one modern marker. This was just a few months before she passed away. Size is 15 x 20 inches. I will soon be listing some original 1930's artwork by her father, Edward Sotto.
Here is an article from Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot that gives some highlights of Marilyn's life;
Marilyn Sotto, a costume designer for Hollywood movies who later transitioned to a career with Disney theme parks, has died. She was 83.
Born into a Hollywood family — her father, Edward Sotto, was a scenic artist for MGM — Sotto developed an interest in movies early on. In an interview earlier this year with the Coastline Pilot, she described watching actress Norma Shearer in the 1938 film "Marie Antoinette" and marveling at the intricacy onscreen.
"That's when I got so interested in costuming — lots of wonderful, wonderful costumes," she said.
Sotto got that break, she said, while working in the MGM mail room. The studio needed a costume assistant on short notice, and Sotto, who had honed her skills working at Western Costume Co., proved a fit.
On the Internet Movie Database, Sotto is officially credited on six movies, including the 1956 Best Picture winner, "Around the World in Eighty Days," for which she served as assistant art director. She also did wardrobe work for Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 biblical epic "The Ten Commandments" and designed James Cagney's wardrobe for 1957's "Man of a Thousand Faces."
But according to her husband, Sotto's work went far beyond those official credits. He cited Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" and "Rear Window," the Humphrey Bogart-Audrey Hepburn classic "Sabrina" and the Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" among the other films she worked on, sometimes under multiple-Oscar-winning costume designer Edith Head.
Her nephew, Eddie Sotto, recalled watching her do sketches for the Julie Andrews musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" when he was a child.
"She had wonderful stories, working with the different talent there," he said.
After her death, Sotto got a thumbs-up from at least one famous film critic. Leonard Maltin, in a blog post titled "An Unsung Disney Heroine," posted an obituary by Sotto's nephew and added his own words of praise at the end.
"I only regret that I never had a chance to meet Marilyn Sotto; she must have been quite a woman," Maltin wrote.
In the 1980s, Sotto began a second career with Disney theme parks, encouraged by her nephew Eddie Sotto, a company executive. She worked for Disneyland and Euro Disney (now known as Disneyland Paris) and later moved to Walt Disney World in Florida, where she rose to the rank of senior costume designer before retiring in 2009.
Matt Carpenter, the area manager in creative costuming for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said Sotto's work ultimately encompassed all the company's locations. Among her contributions were the costumes for the animatronics on Spaceship Earth, a ride that takes patrons on an imagined ride through human history; Sotto designed scenes in ancient Egypt and the Renaissance, among others.
"Marilyn had a sense of style and demeanor that could brighten a room just by walking in," Carpenter said. "She was a larger-than-life personification of a designer."
When the Coastline Pilot interviewed Sotto in July, she noted that she still enjoyed watching period dramas and television shows, such as "Mad Men," to study the onscreen tailoring.
"I love to keep drawing, I do," she said. "I had such a wonderful experience with it. All the things that I should have done I did. Nothing haunts me. I have no regrets."