On Sunday February 24th, the Oscars will be handed out to those who have achieved success in film. I started wondering why winners of the Academy Awards are given this strange gold statue of a man? Why is the statue called “Oscar?”
The award is officially called the “Academy Award of Merit.” Since 1929, over 3,000 people have won an Oscar.
No one really knows why or how “Oscar” got his name. There are two theories. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website, Librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar.
Another theory is that journalist Sidney Skolsky called the statue “Oscar” when Katharine Hepburn won Best Actress in 1934.
The one thing that is fact, is that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started calling the Statue “Oscar” in 1939.
Here are some facts I learned in my research about this prestigious award:
The statue is not solid gold. It is bronze and only plated with 24-karat gold.
MGM art director Cedric Gibbons is the one who designed the statue to resemble a knight. To this day statues are made holding a sword as a tribute to Gibbons original design.
Each statue is 13½ inches tall. They are heavier than I imagined as well, weighing 8 ½ pounds.
Due to a metal shortage during WWII, Oscars were made out of plaster.
One “Oscar” takes 10 days to make.
Today, the Polich Tallix art foundry in New York is the one who makes the statues. They were made in Chicago by R.S. Owens until 2016.
The winners are kept private. The plaques are not affixed to the statue until after the award ceremony to ensure that word does not get out about a winner.
It is very popular today for stars to kiss Oscar when they win him. Did you know that the first star to give “Oscar” a kiss was Audrey Hepburn in 1954?
If you are interested in what movies and stars have been nominated for this year, you can click here for a full list.
Happy Viewing 🙂