Ron Barbagallo: Restoring Animation, Photography and Finding Los Angeles

Ron Barbagallo

Ron Barbagallo


This week we have Ron Barbagallo as our special guest. Ron repairs and restores classic animation art. His client list includes Disney, Warner Bros., and Hanna-Barbera to name a few. He is also an accomplished photographer and the creator of the Found in Los Angeles project.













How did you come to live in LA?
Ron was lured out for a job that wasn’t what it was promised to be and eventually rescued by Joe Barbera of Hanna-Barbera Studios.
What neighborhoods have you lived in and what was unique about them?
Started out in Burbank at the Park Point apartments which was walking distance to many of the major studios including Disney Studios and has continued to reside here.


Ron and his sister invested in an original White Rabbit pocket watch cel for $750 which arrived damaged and poorly restored with white out, a landmark in his journey.

The White Rabbit Pocketwatch Cel

Mary Corliss – Assistant Curator for Film at MOMA and her husband Richard Corliss were at the dinner at the Top of the Sixes Restaurant in NYC where Ron was wooed to LA with promised of work.
Preston Blair – Red Hot Riding Hood & Swing-Shift Cinderella
Red Hot Riding Hood

Red Hot Riding Hood

Michele Derrick – Restoration master with the Getty, Uffizi and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Projects have included book art for Isaac Asimov, Tama Janowitz and promotional art for Mary Higgins Clark.
Isaac Asimov
A Cannibal in Manhattan
Restored The “Wizard of Oz” Logo for the Anniversary release
Restored Andy Warhol’s “Timothy the Mouse” cel from Dumbo
Warhol's Timothy Mouse - Before Restoration (B&W)

Warhol’s Timothy Mouse – Before Restoration (B&W)



Warhol's Timothy Mouse - After Restoration (B&W)

Warhol’s Timothy Mouse – After Restoration (B&W)


Career took off after taking part in a “little” talk at the National Gallery of Art. “ MICKEY, DONALD, GOOFY & PLUTO WHAT’S BREAKING UP THAT OLD GANG OF MINE?” invited by Nora Kennedy, the Sherman Fairchild Conservator of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Herman “Kay” Kamen had a deal with Stix Baer & Fuller department store. Later becoming Walt’s go-to merchandising salesman.


Helen Nerbovig – Became infamous for cutting up cels to make greeting cards from the original Snow White cels.



An example of Ron’s incredible restoration work on an Snow White cel


Most Difficult Projects: 

  • 9/11 Ground Zero at Tower One, conserving plastic artifacts from the Twin Tower and the Warner Bros. Store at the disaster site.
Ron Barbagallo painting lower Manhattan

Ron Barbagallo painting lower Manhattan


  • Tim Burton’s Puppet Project.
Tim Burton Puppet Project - Sally Composite

Tim Burton Puppet Project – Sally Composite



Do you have any LA rituals? 
Can not miss any new shows at the Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.
Favorite LA food & restaurants:
Pizzeria Mozza
Black Hogg
Favorite LA events/festivals:

Paris Photo L.A. – Paramount Studios

Things you cannot live without in LA: 

Bone Marrow Burger – Black Hogg

Georgetown Cupcakes

Figaro Bread – Figaro Bistrot

Pizza and PSquash Blossoms – Pizzeria Mozza



Leave a Reply