- Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
Three legendary Production Designers – John Gabriel Beckman, Charles Lisanby and Walter H. Tyler – will be inducted into the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Hall of Fame at the Guild’s 19th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards ceremony to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 31, 2015, as announced today by ADG Council Chairman John Shaffner and Awards Producers Dave Blass and James Pearse Connelly.
In making the announcement Shaffner said, “Beckman, Lisanby and Tyler join an honored and distinguished group of ADG Hall of Famers, whose collective work parallels the best of motion picture and television production design. Their enduring legacy and accomplished mastery of our profession are most worthy, influential, inspiring and welcomed additions.”
Nominations for the 19th Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards will be announced on January 5, 2015. The ADG will present winners in 11 competitive categories for theatrical films, television productions, commercials and music videos on awards night, January 31, hosted by Comedian Owen Benjamin.
JOHN GABRIEL BECKMAN (1898 – 1989)
Award winning Production Designer John Gabriel Beckman was an architect prior to becoming an admired American set designer, art director, production designer and muralist. He worked behind-the-scenes for almost a decade before receiving his first screen credit as an art director for Charlie Chaplin’s 1947 black comedy Monsieur Verdoux (which was screened in May as part of ADG’s Film Society Series). Some of Beckman’s elaborate murals were created for movie palaces such as Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian theatres, in addition to the Avalon Ballroom in Catalina. Beckman worked in film and television from 1934 to 1989, much of that time at Warner Bros. Beckman worked on such films as Gypsy (1962), Home Before Dark (1958), Calamity Jane (1953) and By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). His film designs also included the iconic films Casablanca (1942), Lost Horizon (1927) and Les Miserables (1935). In 1970, Beckman switched to designing sets for television, and was known for his work on such notable television shows as Designing Women (1986-89) Nero Wolfe (1981), Tabitha (1977-78), The Partridge Family (1973-74) and Profiles in Courage (1964-65). In 2006, Roger Lee Kenvin wrote the definitive biography about Beckman – Art Deco Man: The Legacy of John Gabriel Beckman.
CHARLES LISANBY (1924 – 2013)
Throughout his 50-year-career, Charles Lisanby was arguably one of the most influential scenic designers in history. He is an eleven-time nominee and three-time Emmy® Award winner and is the only Art Director enshrined in the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame. He started his television career after being noticed for painting a mural for the New York headquarters of the famous Friars Club. Over the next 30 years, he worked for CBS, ABC and NBC. His innovative influence in early television includes mastering the use of neon lighting for shows, pioneering the use of lighted steps as a feature of variety and awards shows, and creating monumental set pieces with large block letters that actors could sit on as part of a set. He served as Art Director for telecasts of the Academy Awards®, the Emmys® and the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984. Lisanby was known for designing “The Garry Moore Show,” as well as variety shows for such well-known stars as Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Mitzi Gaynor, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. Lisanby’s primetime Emmy® wins were for Barry Manilow: Big Fun on Swing Street (1988), Baryshnikov on Broadway (1980) and The Lives of Benjamin Franklin (1975). He also worked on such Broadway productions as 1951’s “Romeo and Juliet” and a Tony Award-winning 1956 production of “My Fair Lady,” starring Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison. In 2010 Lisanby donated his life’s work to James Madison University. In addition to his success in the entertainment industry, Lisanby was well-known for his friendship with pop artist Andy Warhol.
WALTER H. TYLER (1909 – 1990)
Walter H. Tyler was an Oscar®-winning American Art Director and Production Designer. During his career Tyler worked on numerous cinematic blockbusters and television epics. He won an Academy Award® for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, for Samson and Delilah (1951), produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. In addition, Tyler received eight Oscar® nominations as an Art Director for films including The Island at the Top of the World (1975), Summer and Smoke (1962), Visit to a Small Planet (1961), Career (1959), The Ten Commandments (1957), Sabrina (1955), Roman Holiday (1954), and Kitty (1947). Tyler’s legendary Art Direction footprint can also be seen in True Grit (1969), The Odd Couple (1968), Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Carpetbaggers (1964), The Nutty Professor (1963), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Shane (1953), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and A Place in the Sun (1951). Besides his cinematic awards, Tyler was nominated for a Primetime Emmy® for The Execution of Private Slovik.
Past ADG Hall of Fame inductees, which are given only posthumously, are Preston Ames, Robert F. Boyle, Robert Clatworthy, William S. Darling, Alfred Junge, Alexander Golitzen, Albert Heschong, Eugène Lourié, John Box, Hilyard Brown, Malcolm F. Brown, Wilfred Buckland, Henry Bumstead, Edward Carfagno, Carroll Clark, Richard Day, John DeCuir Sr., Hans Dreier, Harper Goff, Bob Keene, Cedric Gibbons, Stephen Goosson, Anton Grot, Stephen Grimes, Ted Haworth, Dale Hennesy, Harry Horner, Richard MacDonald, Joseph McMillan “Mac” Johnson, Romain Johnston, Boris Leven, John Meehan, William Cameron Menzies, Harold Michelson, Van Nest Polglase, J. Michael Riva, Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Jan Scott, Edward S. Stephenson, Alexandre Trauner, James Trittipo and Lyle Wheeler.
As previously announced, recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards will include Emmy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated Production Designer Jim Bissell. The additional Lifetime Achievement Awards honorees from the other crafts - Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; Set Designers and Model Makers - will be announced in the near future.
The ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards are open only to productions, when made within the U.S., by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. Further inquiries regarding the ADG Award Rules may be directed to Debbie Patton in the ADG Awards Office at (818) 762-9995, email: Debbie@artdirectors.org. For a complete list of the ADG Award Rules visit www.adg.org
Media sponsors are The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and SHOOT.
About the Art Directors Guild
The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents more than 2,000 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. 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), 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. Follow ADG on Twitter: @ADG800