This year’s new Oscar statuette (The Academy)
The Academy Awards that are handed out a week from Sunday will look a tiny bit different than they have in recent years.
Starting this year, the Oscar statuettes will be created by New York’s Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry and modeled after a cast bronze statuette from 1929, the first year the awards were held, the Academy has announced. While the size of the trophies, which stand at 13.5 inches and weigh 8.5 pounds, will not change, “subtle features” from the original sculpture will be restored.
Norma Shearer receives a Best Actress Oscar in 1930 (Photo: Getty Images)
The new Oscars are being created using 3D print-outs from a digital scan of that 1929 little gold man; the movie prizes are then molded in wax and eventually cast in liquid bronze and electroplated with a layer of 24-karat gold.
The change means that the Chicago-based R.S. Owens and Company, which had been responsible for making the Oscars since 1983, will no longer handle the job.
The Oscar statuette from 2015 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
“They were looking to go back to the bronze statue, which is something we don’t do,” Joseph Petree, the director of design for R.S. Owens, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Ultimately the Academy’s new leadership is making significant changes and so they wanted to go back to the original style [of the statuette]. I can’t be sad. We’ve been fortunate to make the most recognizable trophy on the planet for 30 years.”
The Chicago company will continue to work with the Academy, creating the statuettes for the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and the science and technical honors, in addition to servicing any existing Oscars that may be in need of a face (or body) lift.
Watch a supercut of every Best Picture winner ever: