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Oscar research tool very handy

June 28, 2011

Today the online research tool for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just expanded with the Production Art Database [].

With over 5,300 art items including animation, storyboards and paintings, the opportunity to research film imagery from the 1920s to the present is now accessible outside of L.A.

According to the press release, one of the earliest items featured is a costume design drawing by Howard Greer for the 1923 film “The Spanish Dancer.”  Other notable pieces in the collection include a Hans Dreier production design drawing for “Wings” (1927), animation cels for the Pepe Le Pew cartoon “For Scent-Imental Reasons” (1949), Albert Whitlock’s matte painting study for “The Birds” (1963), Steven Spielberg’s rough storyboard sketches for “Poltergeist” (1982) and Jeannine Oppewall’s drawing of the Victory Motel for “L.A. Confidential” (1997).  The collection also includes materials on very recent films, including drawings by Academy Award® nominee Eve Stewart for “The King’s Speech” (2010).

“We’re very happy to be able to make this database more widely available to researchers, students and film enthusiasts,” Library Director Linda Mehr said.  “Our hope is that it will bring much-deserved attention to the costume and production designers, sketch artists, animators, and other artists who have contributed so much to filmmaking.”

The Academy’s website provides access to several other online databases as well, including the Academy Awards Database, the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database and the Margaret Herrick Library catalog, which includes bibliographic records for the library’s holdings of books, periodicals, scripts, posters and archival collections.  Links can be found at Resources & Databases.

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