why is it called an oscar award

According to the, the origins of the name are uncertain, but "a
popular story has been that an Academy librarian and eventual
executive director, Margaret Herrick, thought it resembled her Uncle
Oscar and said so; and that the Academy staff began referring to it as
Oscar. " The name was used in a column by Sidney Skolsky in 1934, and
officially used by the Academy itself starting in 1939. Check out our recap of for a
look at past nominees and winners.
The most recognized trophy in the world, the Oscar statuette has stood on the mantels of the greatest filmmakers in history since 1929. Shortly after the formation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927, the fledgling organization held a dinner in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to set out its goals. Among the topics discussed that night was how best to honor outstanding moviemaking achievements and thereby encourage excellence in all facets of motion picture production. Agreeing to institute an annual award, the group turned its attention to creating a suitably majestic trophy. MGM art director Cedric Gibbons designed a statuette of a knight standing on a reel of film gripping a crusaderБs sword. The Academy tapped Los Angeles sculptor George Stanley to realize the design in three dimensions Б and the world-renowned statuette was born.


Since the initial awards banquet on May 16, 1929, in the Hollywood Roosevelt HotelБs Blossom Room,б 2,947б statuettes have been presented. Each January, additional new golden statuettes are cast, molded, polished and buffed by R. S. Owens Company, the Chicago-based awards manufacturer retained by the Academy since 1982. Oscar stands 13б inches tall and weighs in at a robust 8б pounds. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers. Although the statuette remains true to its original design, the size of the base varied until 1945, when the current standard was adopted. Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. While the origins of the moniker arenБt clear, a popular story has it that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian (and eventual executive director) Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy didnБt adopt the nickname officially until 1939, but it was widely known enough by 1934 that Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky used it in a piece referring to Katharine HepburnБs first Best Actress win.


The statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favor of britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy which is then plated in copper, nickel silver, and finally, 24-karat gold. Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscarsб were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones. Achievements in up to 25 regular categories will be honored on February 28, 2016, at the 88th Academy Awards presentation at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood Highland Center. However, the Academy wonБt know how many statuettes it will hand out until the envelopes are opened on Oscar Nightб. Although the number of categories are known in advance, the possibility of ties and of multiple recipients sharing the prize in some categories makes it impossible to predict the exact number of statuettes to be awarded. As in previous years, any surplus awards will be housed in the AcademyБs vault until next yearБs event. More than 80 years after that auspicious gathering in Hollywood, OscarБs success as a symbol of filmmaking achievement would probably amaze those who attended the dinner, as it would its designer, Cedric Gibbons.

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