KAREN MANESS

ARTIST, Educator & Author

The Art of the

Hollywood Backdrop

 

In almost every feature film of Hollywood’s golden age, painted backings have convinced moviegoers that what they are seeing—whether the fantastic roads of Oz, the presidents of Mount Rushmore, or ancient Egyptian kingdoms—is absolutely real. The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop reveals the hidden world and creators of these masterpieces, long-guarded as a studio special effect.

The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop

Oscars weekend at the Getty

Join me in celebrating Academy Awards weekend at The Getty.  Come for an in-depth look into the research from The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop, and an introduction to the scenic art masters responsible for some of cinematic history's most iconic images.   Saturday February 25th at 1:00pm.Free and open to the public.  Event is ticketed.  Book today!   Please plan ahead for traffic and the wait time for the tram ride up to the museum. 

GOOD MORNING AMERICA-2016 Must Read

We are beyond thrilled that Good Morning America Anchor Lara Spencer selected The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop as one of her 2016 GMA Holiday "Must Reads"​A huge holiday gift.  So grateful.

Austin Chronicle Gift LIST 2016

Painters are responsible for many of film's most iconic scenes: the soft fog behind Maria and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, the New York City skyline behind the Ghostbusters, and even the out-of-this-world atmospheres in Interstellar. The artistry of large-scale backdrop paintings has been overshadowed by the glow of digital imaging, but a renewed appreciation for artisanal creations has spurred their use again. In partnership with the Art Directors Guild, co-authors and UT professors Richard M. Isackes and Karen L. Maness celebrate the legacy by creating the first, and what will likely be the major, archival document of Hollywood scene paintings. "It's very exciting to have the opportunity to correct this vacuum in the history of cinema in Hollywood," says Maness.​ See full article here

Great Article by Hyperallergic

Thank you Hyperallergic for the great article! "When backdrop painters were successful at their jobs, the filmgoing audience didn’t notice their work at all. From the 1930s, up to the emergence of CGI and higher quality photography, painted backings were an essential part of the cinema industry. However, the artists were barely credited, no matter how important their transformation of reality was to a film — whether a colossal painting that transported the viewer to an exotic locale or a fantastic mural for an entirely fictional realm. ..." Read the whole article here.

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News, Events and Glimpses 'Behind the Scenes'

  

Scenic Art

 

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Rust Red Studio

Opening it's doors to the public for the East Austin Studio Tour: November 12-13 & 19-20,  11am - 6pm

 

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More About the East Austin Studio Tour

 

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Please use the contact form on the contact page to get in touch with Karen about pricing, questions or comments you might have. Thanks for visiting!

Karen Maness

© Karen Maness 2016