Preston Ames, Richard MacDonald and Edward S. Stephenson will be inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame at the guild’s 17th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 2 at the Beverly Hilton.
The ADG says it only accepts posthumous inductees. Here are the bios on the trio:
Preston Ames began his career while studying architecture in France and while working as an architectural draftsman in San Francisco before being hired as a draftsman for the art department at MGM. It was there that he officially started his Hollywood career while working on The Wizard of Oz in 1939 as a draftsman headed by supervising Art Director Cedric Gibbons. Graduating to Art Director only five years after his Hollywood debut, Ames’ most notable success took place during MGM’s golden musical era. In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Ames went on to work on a variety of pictures including An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958), both for which he won Oscars®. He was nominated six times for Academy Awards® in Art Direction. Other highlights of Ames’ career include recreating the ill-fated Titanic in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), the mystical city of Brigadoon (1954), as well as doing production design on all of Vincente Minnelli’s MGM musicals.
Richard MacDonald (1919-1993)
Richard MacDonald was a British artist and production designer for stage and film. MacDonald studied to become a painter at the Royal College of Art and then served in the Royal Navy during World War II. After the war, he taught painting at Leeds College of Art and the Camberwell School of Art in London. He worked briefly as a theatrical set designer before starting his film career as an Art Director in 1954. MacDonald made many uncredited contributions to several of the blacklisted directors’ films in the 1950’s and from 1955 to 1965 he worked as a television art director for advertising firms and began drawing for the films of the blacklisted American director, Joseph Losey. It was during Losey’s Modesty Blaise (1965) that MacDonald would receive his first Production Designer credit. Richard MacDonald has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards in the Best British Art Direction (B/W) category for King & Country (1964), Best Art Direction for The Day of the Locust (1975) and Best Production Design for The Addams Family (1991).
Edward S. Stephenson (1917-2011)
Edward S. Stephenson was a television producer, production designer and art director for nearly 50 years in Hollywood. Stephenson moved from Iowa at a young age to California, where he graduated from the Pasadena Playhouse College of the Theatre. Working as a director, art director and producer for various playhouses and theatres through the U.S. during the 1930s and 40s, Stephenson then joined the U.S. Air Force during WWII where he later accepted a position in the special staff section as the civilian Director of Entertainment and Music for the Commander in Chief, Far East and Supreme Commander, Allied Powers. After leaving the military he found work in Hollywood feature films and TV. He was hired on the spot by NBC Television where he won his first Primetime Emmy® for Best Art Direction in a Live Television Program in 1959 for An Evening with Fred Astaire (1958). Stephenson went on to win two more Primetime Emmys®, for Outstanding Variety Series for The Andy Williams Show (1962) and Outstanding Art Direction for a Comedy Series for Soap (1977), and was nominated for additional Emmys® for The Danny Kaye Show in 1963 and The Golden Girls in 1986.