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Austin Cedric Gibbons (March 23, 1893 – July 26, 1960) was an Irish American art director who was one of the most important and influential in the field in the history of Americanmarker film. He also made a great impact on motion picture theater architecture through the 1930s to 1950s, the period considered the golden-era of theater architecture. He is credited as the designer of the Oscar statuette in 1928.

Career

Gibbons was born in Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker and studied at the Art Students League of New York and worked for his architect father. While at Edison Studios from 1915, he first designed a set for a film released in 1919, assisting Hugo Ballin. But, after this first foray, the studio closed, and he signed with Samuel Goldwyn in 1918. This evolved to working for Louis B. Mayer at MGM from 1924 to 1956—a 32-year career.

Gibbons was one of the original 36 founding members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and oversaw the design of the Academy Awards statuette in 1929, a trophy for which he himself would be nominated 39 times, winning 11—second only to Walt Disney, who won 26.

He retired in 1956 with about 1,500 films credited to him: however, his contract with MGM dictated that he receive credit as art director for every MGM film released in the United States, even though other designers may have done the bulk of the work. Even so, his actual hands-on art direction may have been on about 150 films.

Personal life and death

In 1930, Gibbons married actress Dolores del Río and co-designed their house in Santa Monica, an intricate Art Deco residence influenced by Rudolf Schindler. They divorced in 1941, the year he married actress Hazel Brooks with whom he remained until his death at the age of 67

Gibbons's grave is in the Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angelesmarker.

Legacy

Gibbons's set designs, particularly those in such films as Born to Dance (1936) and Rosalie (1937), heavily inspired motion picture theater architecture in the late 1930s through 1950s. The style is found very clearly in the theaters that were managed by the Skouras brothers, whose designer Carl G. Moeller used the sweeping scroll-like details in his creations. Among the more classic examples are the Loma Theater in San Diegomarker, The Crest in Long Beach and Fresno, and the Culver Theater in Culver Citymarker, all of which are in California and some extant. The style is sometimes referred to as Art Deco and Art Moderne.

Academy Awards

Wins for Art Direction



Nominations for Art Direction



See also



Bibliography

  • "Cedric Gibbons Architect of Style", LA Modernism catalog, May 2006, pp. 16-17 by Jeffrey Head


External links




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