The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop

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background for Sound of Music

The Sound of Music (1965) Twentieth Century Fox Production Designer, Boris Leven; Director, Robert Wise, Photo Credit: ADG Archives

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In almost every feature film of Hollywood's golden age, from The Wizard of Oz to North by Northwest to Cleopatra to The Sound of Music, painted backings have convinced moviegoers that what they are seeing—whether the fantastic roads of Oz, the presidents of Mount Rushmore, or ancient Egyptian kingdoms—is absolutely real. These backings are at once intended to transport the audience and yet remain unseen for what they really are. 

The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop exhibit introduces America's unrecognized master scenic artists of Hollywood's golden age through original historic MGM backdrops.  Long guarded by the major studios as special effect secrets, these monumental illusions will transport viewers into cinematic history and reveal the breathtaking technical painting and drawing virtuosity of artists painting specifically for the camera's eye. Featuring original backdrops from iconic films such as The Sound of Music, Singin' in The Rain, Ben Hur, and North by Northwest, take a step behind the curtain for an unforgettable American Art experience. More in link.
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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As of August 20, 2021, face coverings are required for all staff and visitors (ages 3+) inside the Museum.