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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Katharine Hepburn, 12 May 1907 - 29 Jun 2003
Gold-plated brittanium with black metal base
With Base: 33 x 13 x 13cm (13 x 5 1/8 x 5 1/8")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Estate of Katharine Hepburn
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The Oscar statuette was designed in 1927 by MGM director Cedric Gibbons and sculpted by George Stanley. The figure stands on a film reel with five spokes, signifying the original branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers. The pedestal was raised in 1945, giving Oscar a height of 13½ inches; it weighs 8½ pounds. Rather than its original gold-plated bronze, it is now composed of the alloy Britannia and coated in twenty-four-karat gold.