Boris Gorelick (1912-1984) is another artist, like Ernie Nordli mentioned below, who wasn’t a primary figure in Fifties animation design, but made valuable contributions in his own way. Here’s a short bio I found about him online:
Boris Gorelick was born in southern Russia. His parents immigrated to the United States when he was an infant. Gorelick attended the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and Columbia University. He worked as a fine artist, a teacher, a mural designer, and an industrial designer. During the Depression he joined the New York City WPA’s graphics division. He went to Phoenix for the WPA to set up the Phoenix School of Art and Design, a WPA school for the public. He was also an activist and helped found the Artists’ Union, which fought for the economic survival of artists.
There’s also a lengthy, but fascinating, 1964 interview with Gorelick posted HERE, which sheds light on his early (non-animation) artistic career. Gorelick’s animation career, in fact, still remains somewhat mysterious. I’ve never figured out exactly where he worked for most of the 1940s and 1950s. I do know he was at UPA on and off from the time the studio started, and his UPA credits include background painting on THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN (1946), MAN ALIVE! (1952) and the Magoo feature 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS (1959). He also painted backgrounds on seven Friz Freleng shorts at Warner Bros. in 1957-58, and the combination of Hawley Pratt-layouts and Gorelick-painted bgs produced some really handsome cartoons. It’s a shame Gorelick didn’t do more work there. Gorelick continued working in animation in the 1960s and 1970s, at studios including Jack Kinney Productions, Format Films, Playhouse Pictures and Filmation. The photo of him above is from Format Films in the early-1960s when he was painting backgrounds on THE ALVIN SHOW.
Here are four examples of Gorelick’s lithographs from the mid-1930s. Though Gorelick worked primarily as a background painter in animation, these lithos show that he had a lot of range as both designer and draftsman. If you like this type of art, there’s a book called AMERICAN EXPRESSIONISM: ART AND SOCIAL CHANGE, 1920-1950 by Bram Dijkstra, which has a lot of excellent work in it it. Gorelick is also mentioned in the book along with an example of his artwork.