Gary Fry, lecturer in Scenic Art at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, will introduce the work of Scottish artist George Gibson (1904-2001). Gibson is a name unfamiliar to most, despite his work being widely seen in iconic films such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), An American in Paris (1951) and Brigadoon (1954).
Gibson was unsung and unknown throughout his long career due to the secrecy surrounding his craft – the studios kept this from audiences to further enhance the spectacle seen on screen. Travelling to the US from Glasgow, as many did between the wars, Gibson found himself in California, via New York, in 1930. Gibson is widely regarded as the best in the business and trained many others who went on to set up their own painting studios.
We are very fortunate at the RCS to have been donated six backdrops from the Gibson era at MGM. These are used as teaching tools for scenic art students studying at the RCS. They are also used to educate the wider public on this remarkable Scot whose life’s work has been seen hiding in plain sight in some of the most cherished films ever made.
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