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Original 1963 Cleopatra Sketch / Drawing Block-Style Photos Made For a Presentation Board / Display from Production Designer John DeCuir (DeCuir Collection)Go Back
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Original 1963 Cleopatra Sketch / Drawing Block-Style Photos Made For a Presentation Board / Display from Production Designer John DeCuir (DeCuir Collection) John DeCuir was an Academy Award winning Hollywood Art Director and production designer. In total he had 11 Oscar nominations with three wins for: The King and I (1956), Cleopatra (1963) and Hello, Dolly! (1969). He started his work in the 1930s as a sketch artist for films. He spent time at Universal (1938-49) and 20th Century Fox (1949-62). He was known for his own watercolor paintings that were transformed into elaborate big budget set designs. He also worked in theatrical design, operas and designing theme parks. His artistry led to an induction into the Art Director’s Hall of Fame in 2004. We are fortunate to present many items that came out of his personal collection. Presented are block-style art display pieces by John DeCuir who was the production designer for Cleopatra. The film was an epic drama that was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It starred Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall and Martin Landau. At the time, it was one of the most expensive films ever made at $44 million. For the elaborate effort in the design of the set by itself, DeCuir won an Academy Award. The Egyptian style artwork presented was created for purposes of designing the set / background. The set design artwork for 1960s films were originally intricate hand-drawn scenes. Presumably, DeCuir assembled five of the scenes onto art blocks via photography. Each block measures 4×8.5 and each has a different design related to the film. Because two of the blocks have Velcro on the back, most likely they were assembled on a presentation board. Overall, a wonderful way to get a piece of the classic film Cleopatra right from one of the designers.