Dodge College has SO much going on, between its classes, film shoots, studios, and more. So, it’s no surprise that many people miss the artwork we have hanging on the walls throughout Marion Knott Studios. However, we wanted to showcase it, as it is a literal treasure trove of movie history.
The artwork was all donated by Cecilia DeMille Presley, who went through her father’s estate to find them all.
Cecil B. DeMille was an incredibly famous filmmaker who made 77 films. He successfully made silent films for years, and when sound arrived in Hollywood, he continued to find success with it. He was raised to appreciate the art of great illustrators, and viewed pre-production artwork as essential to the film making process. He believed storyboards give a film its vision, and he often shot a scene just as the artist envisioned. Later, the poster art would help draw the audience.
After he died in 1959, his daughter found more than 45,000 pieces of film art and photographs. A small portion of this collection is what is on display at Marion Knott Studios.
Here are some of the great things you can find:
First Floor, Hall 1A
These are a few storyboards from The Ten Commandments, which were used to conceptualize the scenes of the Red Sea Crossing and the Exodus.
First Floor, Hall 1A & 1B
These are original photos taken during production of various films. They hung at the Famous Players-Lasky studio, in Hollwood, for years, before moving to Paramount Studios, and then to DeMille’s Home.
First Floor, Hall 1C
Three animation cels from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty
First Floor, Hall 1D
Original Posters promoting The Birth of a Nation, and from Vitagraph Studios, which was established in 1900 and sold to Warner Bros. in 1925.
Cecil B. DeMille Rotunda Lobby
These are all original posters from some of DeMille’s greatest works, like The Ten Commandments and The Buccaneer.
Movie posters from artist Batiste Madalena, who was hired by Eastman Theater in NY in the 1920s to do original poster art. Though many of it has been destroyed over time, his surviving work belongs to the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.
First Floor, Hall 1E & 1F
Various, original movie posters, from the golden age of Hollywood to modern day classics
Third Floor, Elevator Lobby
These nine, original costume sketches located here were from various artists and films.
Third Floor, Administrative Office Lobby
Two litographs, signed by Eugenio Zanetti, from The Haunting.
As mentioned, this is just some of the work you can find around here. Next time you’re walking around Marion Knott Studios, be sure to take a moment to check out the fantastic art we have. You never know what you might see!