Painted Backdrop.JPG


the Lost

Art of




In 2012, The Art Directors Guild Archives began a comprehensive effort to preserve the legacy of Hollywood’s motion picture scenic arts. This commitment to preservation has resulted in the possession of the world’s most comprehensive archive on Hollywood scenic art painting and the creation of THE ART OF THE HOLLYWOOD  BACKDROP, the definitive and award-winning book on this previous unwritten history.

A working catalog of the backings has been circulated amongst colleges and universities with scenic painting programs, as well as museums and film archives, both national and international, so that we may secure the best possible homes for all of these unique and historic Hollywood artworks.

The remainder of these backings were offered to institutions, businesses, organizations and individuals. They were free to those willing to cover the modest cost of shipping and handling.


Thank you to everyone who submitted a request for a backdrop!

The response to find homes for these forgotten titans of cinematic art has truly been overwhelming and heartfelt. We have found excellent homes for the remainder of our current collection of backings. We responded in the order that requests were received and regrettably we were not able to fill every one's requests.

The Backstory on Hollywood's Backdrops

CBS News Sunday Morning aired on 2/9/20

CBS writer/producer Reid Orvedhal, and correspondent, John Blackstone, presented a special segment on their Oscar Sunday program, an original story that is dedicated to celebrating cinema and the ADG Archives efforts towards saving 200 historic MGM era backdrops.
Inspired by a LA Times front-page article by Pulitzer prize journalist, Mary McNamara; the CBS story celebrates our book, “The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop,” and efforts at preserving these titans of cinematic creative craft on canvas…the art of the “Seen Unseen.”