Anthony “Tony” Masters, nominated for an Academy Award for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and Ben Carre, best known for his work on the 1925 version of “The Phantom of the Opera” and “The Wizard of Oz,” will be posthumously inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.
Masters and Carre, who died in 1990 and 1978, respectively, will be recognized at the guild’s 23rd annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, themed “Landscape of the Imagination,” on Feb. 2 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.
“We are honored to celebrate legendary artists Tony Masters and Ben Carre for their arresting visual imagery as they are inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame. Both were gifted artists who have inspired us for decades through their talents, imaginations, and enormous contributions to the art of narrative design in motion pictures,” said ADG President Nelson Coates.
Masters’ career spanned 45 years. The British production designer received an Oscar nod for art direction in 1968 for his work in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” His two dozen credits include “Dune,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Papillon,” “Tai-Pan,” “The Clan of the Cave Bear,” “The Deep” and the Oscar-winning short “The Bespoke Overcoat.”
Two of Masters’ sons followed in their father’s footsteps: Giles Masters (“The Da Vinci Code,” “Angels & Demons,” “Women in Gold”) and Dominic Masters (“Wonder Woman,” “Murder on the Orient Express”). Son Adam is a television and film editor in the U.K.
The French-born Carre is best known for the catacomb set designs for “The Phantom of the Opera,” the Emerald City from “The Wizard of Oz,” the home of the Smith family in “Meet Me in St. Louis” and sets for “The Jazz Singer.” A classically-trained artist, he studied at the Atelier Amable in Paris and began his professional career as a scene painter for the Paris Opera and the Comedie-Francaise and arrived in the U.S. in 1912 to be a production designer at Eclair/Peerless.
During his time under contract at MGM (1924-26), Warner Bros. (1926-27), Fox (1928-35) and, again, MGM (1939-44), he designed sets for Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings” and worked on “Noah’s Ark,” “The Iron Mask” and “Dante’s Inferno.” He eventually took a permanent job in MGM’s scenic art department where he stayed for 30 years, painting backgrounds for many of MGM’s classic films, including “Marie Antoinette,” “An American in Paris,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Julius Caesar,” “North by Northwest,” “Singing in the Rain” and “The Wizard of Oz.” After retiring in 1965 at the age of 82, Carre remained in Los Angeles, where he painted and exhibited watercolors featuring Los Angeles cityscapes.