Why is the most recognized trophy in the world called Oscar? You might have asked the same question multiple times, and the answer is simple —it is a nickname!
Since 1929 the golden statuette has been proudly displayed on the mantels, showdown boxes, and desks of the greatest filmmakers, actors, musicians, and designers.
Until 1939, the trophy was called by its official name, Academy Award of Merit; however, its nickname, Oscar, gained popularity when late librarian and the Executive Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick, said, the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar.
But was Uncle Oscar the true inspiration?
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, when they formed in 1927, they determined that their annual award needed to be “a majestic trophy.” For its creation, MGM art director Cedric Gibbons designed a statuette standing on a reel of film gripping a crusader’s sword. After Los Angeles sculptor George Stanley created the 3D version of the trophy, the piece became the world’s most famous statuette.
Each year, new golden statuettes are created by Polich Tallix’s fine art foundry in New York’s Hudson Valley, with the same measures as the original but with a slight change. The Oscar stands 13½ inches tall and weighs 8½ pounds.
The film reel features five spokes, representing the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. In 1945 the academy adopted a new standard, and that’s the trophy we know today.
And what is the Oscar made of?
The Academy informed that the figurines are solid bronze and plated in 24-karat gold.