Academy to display Oscar® statuettes to public

Jan 08, 2003 by Ian Evans

More than 100 Oscar statuettes presented over the past 75 years will be featured in a glittering new exhibition at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences beginning January 24. Like all exhibitions at the Academy, And the Oscar Went To… will be free and open to the public.

The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery will be the temporary home for the statuettes, most of which are being borrowed from the winners or their heirs. (Some are already in the permanent care of the Academy.) Every year the Academy Awards have been presented will be represented by at least one winners’ statuette.

In addition, the Academy hopes to display all 15 of the statuettes distributed to winners the very first year. Ten of those have already been located and confirmed for the exhibition, including the Oscar presented to Emil Jannings, the first recipient of an Academy Award of Merit in 1929. That year, the winners were announced far in advance of the presentation dinner. Jannings had plans to return to Europe before the gala, so he was given his statuette early.

Among other notable Oscars to be featured are those won by: Katharine Hepburn for her performance in Morning Glory (1932/33), Irving Berlin for the song White Christmas from the film Holiday Inn (1942), Karl Malden for his performance in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Robert Wise for directing The Sound of Music (1965), John Wayne for his performance in True Grit (1969), Francis Ford Coppola for writing the screenplay for The Godfather (1972), John Williams for the music score from Star Wars (1977), Rick Baker for the makeup in An American Werewolf in London (1981), Richard Sylbert for the art direction for Dick Tracy (1990) and Cuba Gooding Jr. for his performance in Jerry Maguire (1996).

And the Oscar Went To… will also include statuettes won in each of the five categories swept by One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975. Actor Jack Nicholson, actress Louise Fletcher, director Milos Forman, writers Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz have agreed to loan their Oscar statuettes. Among the other unique items and highlights will be the original prototype for the statuette, a plaster statuette that was awarded during the metal shortage of the WWII era, the regular sized statuette and its seven smaller friends that were awarded to Walt Disney for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Judy Garland’s miniature Oscar, presented in 1939 for her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during that year.

As a companion to And the Oscar Went To… the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery will feature Academy Treasures: 75 Years of Collecting and Preserving. This showcase of artifacts and items relating to Oscar history will include film posters, costume and production design sketches, photographs and other ephemera from Oscar-winning films. All of the materials to be displayed are from the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library at the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study.

And the Oscar Went To… and Academy Treasures will continue at the Academy through April 17, 2003. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Viewing hours are Tuesdays through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends noon to 6 p.m. Due to the Nominations Announcement for the 75th Academy Awards, the Academy galleries will not open until noon on Tuesday, February 11.