Backdrop Project

The Backdrop Project is the working title for a collaborative film project featuring 24 extraordinary film and television scenic backdrops from MGM Studios and the golden age of television. The project shifts the drops from their purposely invisible background to the middle, treating them as subjects in a queer re-reading of the scenes and films they appeared in.

The historic backings date back to the early 1940’s and as recently as 1986 or 1992. Many were painted during the high-renaissance of scenic art in the studio system. The backings were rescued from oblivion by the Art Directors Guild and distributed to cultural institutions, universities, and individuals. The first stage of assessing and documenting the condition the backings is currently underway. Under half of the backings have been firmly identified, but preliminary research has begun to fill in some missing details.

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