Fine Arts alumnus George Maitland Stanley ('24) sculpted one of the most famous (and smallest) statues in the world — the Oscar statuette — which he fabricated based upon a sketch by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons in 1927. Oscar stands 13½ inches tall and weighs in at a robust 8½ pounds. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. Since the initial awards banquet in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, almost 2,947 statuettes have been presented as of 2015.
Stanley continued to win sculpture commissions and in 1933, was selected to work on the “Astronomers Monument,” a large WPA project at Griffith Observatory. In 1937, he was commissioned to design a fountain for the Hollywood Bowl: a 200-foot-long, 22-foot-high, 250-ton, Streamline Moderne-style fountain of lightly polished granite.