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Duncan Alanson Spencer (1911-1999), the legendary Scenic Artist behind some of Hollywood’s greatest films, will be honored by the Art Directors Guild Gallery 800(ADG, IATSE Local 800) in a special exhibit entitled “The Golden Brush: A Tribute to Duncan Alanson Spencer.” Spencer’s career spanned over 38 years and over 400 movies including The Wizard of Oz, White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis and Ziegfeld Follies. The exhibit opens with a hosted opening reception on Saturday, February 10 from 5 - 9pm and will run through April 7, 2018.
Spencer is best known for his iconic motion picture scenic art direction. Like many other young professionals during that time, Spencer was mainly self-taught. His career in the film industry started in 1937 when he joined MGM Studios under scenic artist George Gibson, where he worked for over 38 years as one of the studio's premier scenic artists. Spencer eventually worked for all the great Hollywood scenic shops including Twentieth Century Fox (working with John Coakley), Columbia, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and R.L. Grosh and Sons, painting scenery for both theater productions, films and the emerging television industry. In the 1960’s, he teamed with Billy Wilder as Scenic Art Director on Irma La Douce, The Apartment, Witness for the Prosecution and The Fortune Cookie. In 1968, Spencer retired from studio work to pursue his other artistic passions.
In addition to films, Spencer was a master of the art of dioramas and backings for theme parks, exhibits and museums. He completed 29 permanent dioramas for the animal backdrops in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, as well as famed diorama exhibits for the IBM Exhibition at the 1962 New York World’s Fair and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Spencer created the legendary Grand Canyon diorama for the Disneyland Railroad ride in 1957 and the renowned “We the People” diorama of the Capitol Building in the Political Hall of the Smithsonian Institution.
Spencer was a remarkably versatile artist, who was successful in various art media: oil, watercolor, charcoal and pencil. He depicted an amazing variety of subjects including buildings, boats, still life and landscapes. In addition to the current Gallery 800 exhibit, Spencer's works are scattered throughout the US, Canada and Europe in many public and private
Gallery 800 Future Exhibits Include (subject to change):
Little Bonfires (April 28 - July 7, 2018)
Robert Cartwright: A Retrospective (July 28 - Oct. 6, 2018)
Art Unites 12 (Oct. 27, 2018 - Jan. 5, 2019)
Gallery 800, located in the heart of the Noho Arts District, showcases Guild members’ personal artwork in a series of shows throughout the year. These talented artists are leading art department professionals, who, through a combination of observation, passion and imagination, bring the writer's words and the director's vision to life in television and film. When not working as integral creative members of the entertainment community, they contribute to the fine art scene with their personal artwork. Since Gallery 800 opened its doors in March 2009, more than 700 ADG members have shown their artwork in the ongoing exhibitions.
Representing Gallery 800 are Curator Abra Brayman and the ADGs Christian McGuire. Gallery 800 (located at 5108 Lankershim Blvd. at the Historic Lankershim Arts Center in the heart of North Hollywood) is open Thursday - Friday: 12 - 8pm; Saturday 2 - 8 pm; Sunday 2 - 6pm.
About the Art Directors Guild
The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents 2,500 members who work throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers, Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; Set Designers and Model Makers; and Previs Artists. Established in 1937, the ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society, an annual Awards Banquet, a creative/technology community (5D: The Future of Immersive Design), a bimonthly craft magazine (Perspective); and extensive technology-training programs, figure drawing and other creative workshops and year-round Gallery 800 art exhibitions. The Guild's Online Directory/Website Resource is at www.adg.org. Connect with the Art Directors Guild and #Gallery800 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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