The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: A Presentation that Literally Goes Behind the Scenes
The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop, a book by Richard M. Isackes and Karen L. Maness, is a large format book that includes sumptuous photos of movie backdrops, and the stories of the scenic artists that produced them.
As revered film historian Leonard Maltin wrote, the book “reveals a facet of moviemaking that even savvy film buffs may not know about … You will be amazed, as I was, at the number of familiar scenes from films as varied as The Wizard of Oz, North by Northwest, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events that make use of these canvases … This is truly an eye-opening book and a valuable contribution to our understanding of how movies are created.”
On Wednesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. Karen Maness will give a talk and presentation all about the subject matter of The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop.
Ms. Maness collaborated in the 2017 Art Directors Guild Archives Backdrop Recovery Project, which recovered over 200 MGM backdrops from Hollywood’s golden age of film for display and study. She is a professor of scenic art, figurative painting, and practical special effects for UT Live Design at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre & Dance and Scenic Art Supervisor at Texas Performing Arts. A limited number of books will be available for purchase, and Ms. Maness will be available for a book signing after the program.
Historical Society members and the general public are invited to enjoy this free program in the Multipurpose Room in Veterans Memorial Building, located at 4117 Overland Avenue. The entrance to both the ARC and Multipurpose Room is through the back of the building and open to the public.