February 17, 2015


On February 16 2016, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences announced that they now have a new manufacturer for their statuettes. Here are the details on 
the new statuettes and trivia on the Oscar's history, including how it got its name 

Photo courtesy: AMPAS

The New Oscar Statuettes
  • Two years ago, the Academy announced that Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York, will exclusively create its iconic Oscar statuettes, starting with the 88th Academy Awards. In a process that returns to the Oscar’s fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.
  • the new Oscar-making process starts by creating digital scans of the statuette. The digital Oscar is then 3D-printed and molded so the form can be cast in wax. Each wax statuette is coated in a ceramic shell. The wax inside is then melted, making room for the statuettes to be cast in liquid bronze. Later the cooled bronze statuette is sanded to a mirror polish finish, and then electroplated with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold by Epner Technology, and finally hand-buffed to a satin finish.
  • The statuette was originally gold-plated solid bronze. Bronze was later abandoned in favor of britannia metal—a pewter-like alloy, which made it easier to give the statuettes their smooth finish. Now, the Academy Awards will again be gold-plated bronze, given the new Oscar statuette manufacturing process.
Other Trivia
  • Because of the metals shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, all of the awarded plaster figures were exchanged for gold-plated metal ones.
  • The Oscar statuette is a stylized figure of a knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film with five spokes signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers), and the sword symbolizing protection for welfare and advancement of the industry.
  • No model was used during the design process of the Oscar.
  • The Oscar is 13.5" (21.6cm) tall, it weighs 8.5lbs (3.85kg) and the diameter of its base is 5.25" (13.3cm).
  • Since the first Oscars in 1929, 2,951 statuettes have been presented to recipients.
  • At one of the meetings following the incorporation of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences in 1927, MGM art director Cedric Gibbons sketched the figure of a knight gripping a sword, standing in front of a reel of film. This design was realized in three-dimensional form by sculptor George Stanley, who was commissioned the task by Gibbons, who chose the final design.
  • The design of the statuette has never changed from its original conception, but the size of the base varied until the present standard was adopted in 1945.
  • Officially named The Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar—not officially used by the Academy until 1939.
  • The origins of the nickname aren’t clear. However, a popular story has been that Academy librarian and eventual executive director Margaret Herrick thought it resembled her Uncle Oscar and said so, after which the Academy staff began referring to it as Oscar.

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