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Edith & Oscar: Costume Exhibit

Red gown for Pocket Full of Miracles, with fabric scrap
Sketch for Queenie character in Pocketful of Miracles (B11 F2).

Edith Head was the head costume designer at Paramount Pictures for 44 years, and worked for Universal for another 14. In the course of her long career, she worked on well over 1,000 films, with some of the twentieth century's most glamorous and well-known stars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began granting awards in Costume Design at the 1949 ceremony. Head was nominated that year, and went on to have 35 Oscar nominations and 8 wins. These remain records for both the Costume Design category and for any woman in any category.

This costume exhibit draws on the Edith Head Collection at the WCFTR to illustrate her career in relation to the Academy Awards. Several designs from winning films are included, as are nominated designs, production materials for some of these films, designs from popular films of the time, and designs from competitors and collaborators. Films highlighted include All About Eve (1950), Sabrina (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Ten Commandments (1956), A New Kind of Love (1963) and Wives and Lovers (1963).

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Head, Edith, and Jane Kesner Ardmore. The Dress Doctor. Boston: Boston, Little, Brown, 1959.
Head, Edith, and Paddy Calistro. Edith Head's Hollywood. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton, Inc; 1983.
Head, Edith. "The Costume Designer." Macklin, Tony and Nick Pici, eds. Voices from the Set: The Film Heritage Interviews. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, 2000.

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