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New ADG Hall of Fame Inductees


Five production designers of yore will be inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame when Local 800 holds its 10th annual awards ceremony early next year.The guild’s council has chosen art directors whose work spans the history of moviemaking in the twentieth century. And for the first time work for television is being recognized: Jan Scott who won 11 primetime Emmys for art direction and was an innovator in designing for the miniseries, will also become the first female to be selected. Others include MGM’s king of set décor, Cedric Gibbons, who was nominated for an Oscar 37 times, the all-time record.The Hall of Fame was inaugurated at the Excellence in Production Design Awards earlier this year. The five new honorees will bring its membership to an even dozen. Previous inductees are Wilfred Buckland, Richard Day, John DeCuir Sr., Anton Grot, Boris Leven, William Cameron Menzies and Van Nest Polglase.“The ADG Hall of Fame recognizes the many achievements of those artists who created and evolved the unique discipline of art direction for the moving image,” said Thomas Walsh, president of Local 800 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IA.Next year’s Art Directors Guild awards ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2006. A visual presentation illuminating the careers of the new round of honorees will be shown. ADG Council vice chairman James Bissell is assembling the video.The five new Hall of Famers are:• John Box (1909–2005) began his career in stage design in England and started working on movies in the mid 1950s. His forte was fashioning exotic foreign and historic settings for films ranging from A Man for All Seasons to Passage to India. He got nicknamed “the magician” for pulling off seemingly impossible tasks. Box managed to create the memorable snow-filled Russian landscape for Dr. Zhivago (1966) though the shoot took place in searing summer heat in Spain. He got the Academy Award for art direction for the film, directed by David Lean. Box worked with Lean on other films, most notably Lawrence of Arabia, for which he won an Oscar in 1963.• Hans Dreier (1885–1996) was one of the talented émigrés from Germany in the 1920s who transferred their sophisticated skills to Hollywood. He was famous for his collaborations with director Ernst Lubitsch in comedies like Trouble in Paradise (1932). Dreier won three Academy Awards, including one honoring his art direction for Billy Wilder’s noir masterpiece Sunset Blvd. (1950). He arrived at Paramount in 1923 and was supervising art director there until he retired in 1950, working frequently with Cecil B. DeMille on his lavish epics like Samson and Delilah, which also got Dreier an Oscar.• Cedric Gibbons (1892–1960) had credits on 1,500 films, more than any person in the history of motion pictures. Mainly he reigned supreme at MGM during the studio’s golden age. He was the supervising art director, along with Richard Day; and the two were instrumental in creating the “big white” art deco-style sets of the 1930s that influenced American interior designers. Gibbons received 11 Oscars for art direction on films including Gaslight (1944); The Yearling (1946); and An American in Paris (1951). Born in Brooklyn, New York, he was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Pictures and he designed the Oscar statuette.• Jan Scott (1915–2003) was a trailblazer in a field long-dominated by men, and she was known for her standard-setting art direction for television specials, mini-series and docudramas. Nominated 30 times for Primetime Emmy Awards, she won 11 times. The first was 1951 for a Hallmark Hall of Fame special, at the beginning of the television era. Scott also received an Emmy for Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977), and I’ll be Home for Christmas (1988). She was also art director on six theatrical features, including The World of Henry Orient. Born in Carbondale, Illinois, Scott studied architecture and fine arts at the University of Chicago, the Chicago Art Institute and M.I.T.• Alexander Trauner (1906–1993) came to Hollywood at the invitation of director Billy Wilder to art direct The Apartment (1960). And he won an Academy Award for his work on the multi-Oscar winning film. Trauner, born in Budapest, worked with Lazare Meerson, the creator of the style of “poetic realism.” Trauner, who was Jewish, hid from the Nazis in France during World War II. He worked with French director Marcel Carne, and was art director on Children of Paradise, the non plus ultra of French cinema. He worked in both France and the US, winning several Cesars, France’s Oscar, and was nominated for an Academy Award for The Man Who Would be King (1975).

Written by Jack Egan

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