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Jack Martin Smith

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Jack Martin Smith (2 January 1911 — 7 November 1993) was the assistant art director and production designer on the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz. He served as the film's primary sketch artist, transferring the concepts of his bosses Cedric Gibbons and Bill Horning into artwork for further realization by the studio's Construction Department.

Smith produced all of the blueprint plans used on the film, plus color sketches (measuring three feet by two) of all the sixty-plus sets. Gibbons, head of the MGM art department, then rejected all of Smith's sketches: Gibbons thought the color pallet was too bright, and demanded a more subdued, "ethereal" pallet. Smith did all the sketch-work over a second time.[1]

Over his long career, Smith shared in three Academy Awards for art direction or set direction, for Cleopatra (1963), Fantastic Voyage (1966), and Hello, Dolly! (1969). He was nominated for six other films, from Madame Bovary (1949) to Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). He worked on a vast variety of movies, from Carousel and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (both 1956) to The Planet of the Apes (1968). He also did extensive work in television, on programs ranging from Lost in Space and Batman to Dynasty.

References

  1. Aljean Harmetz, The Making of the Wizard of Oz, New York, Delta edition, 1989; p. 218.

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