George Gibson

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About this artist

George Gibson has led a dual career as a motion picture set designer and watercolor artist. He attended Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art. In 1930 he moved to the United States and settled in California, where he studied at Chouinard Art Institute from 1931 to 1933, and later with F. Tolles Chamberlin (1873-1961). Since Gibson had worked as a set designer in Scotland, he turned to the motion-picture industry for employment and in 1931 worked as a storyboard illustrator for Fox Studio. From 1934 to 1969 he was employed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, where he designed sets for such movies as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Oklahoma! (1955), The Prodigal (1955), and Ice Station Zebra (1968), and became head of the set department.

During the early 1940s Gibson increasingly painted watercolors, and after the war began exhibiting them as an active member of the California Water Color Society, serving as the organization’s secretary, 1947-48, vice-president, 1949-50, and president, 1950-51. During this period he became close friends with EMIL KOSA, JR., often accompanying him on sketching trips. In his watercolors Gibson combines the traditional English aquarelle technique with the vigor and boldness of the California watercolor school.

LACMA, Research Library, artist’s file, interview with the artist by Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, nd. § Vic Heutschy, "From Any Angle," International Photographer 26 (October 1954): 16-17 § Moure 1975, pp. 15, 43, with bibliography § Who’s Who in American Art, 1984, s.v. "Gibson, George" § Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, The California Style: California Watercolor Artists, 1923-1955 (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Hillcrest, 1985), pp. 62-63.