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    Historical (50+) "Motion Picture Make-Up Artists Association" unionization documents archive. (ca. 1930s) Vintage original archive of (50+) letters, telegrams, return receipts, signed declarations and more, representing the genesis of what became the "Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild - Local 706 - I.A.T.S.E., which was officially recognized as a Union in 1937. On June 29th, 1933 Jack Pierce, Monty, Perc and Wally Westmore, Jack Dawn, and other Hollywood makeup legends sign a petition to unionize. During production of Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings in September of 1926, makeup artist F.B. Phillips and colleagues assembled to form the "Motion Picture Make-up Artists Association". Their first offices were located in the newly opened Max Factor building on Highland Avenue. In 1929, a group of hairstylists also explored forming a union for those working in the film industry. However, in the era of the Great Depression, the Department of Labor felt they should wait. In 1930, the average rate for a studio head of makeup was $30 for an 8-hour day, $200 for a 60-hour week or $250 for unlimited hours in a week. A journeyman makeup artist working on principal actors and cast was paid $20 for an 8-hour day, $133.65 for a 60-hour week or $166.65 for unlimited hours in a week. While this was a healthy salary during the Depression, it did not address the state of working conditions. In the early 1930s, The American Federation of Labor refused to recognize the then titled, "Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Association". Many in Hollywood were forming guilds or unions to obtain fair and equal working conditions and benefits. It was the scenic artists' union who agreed to bring the makeup and hair craftspeople into their Local. For the first time, makeup artists became part of organized labor. By 1934-35, makeup artists had joined the Brotherhood of Painters, part of the Conference of Studio Locals. When Studio executives refused to bargain, the Conference of Studio Locals went on strike. Labor unrest in Hollywood was rife. Finally, the I.A.T.S.E. (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) acknowledged how important makeup artists and hair stylists were to moviemaking and offered them a charter in November of 1937. Archive highlights include: Collection of (3) oversized 13 x 8.5 in. pages with original ink signatures from a Who's-Who of early Hollywood makeup artists and hairdressers from The Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Ten Commandments, and more. All major studio artists are represented. Original signatures include Jack Dawn, Monty, Perc and Wally Westmore, Cecil Holland, Jack Pierce, Lily Dirigo, Paul Stanhope, Charles Dudley, Mel Burns, and many more. Also part of the collection are 3-early photostat copies of the above, believed to have been generated to include and give weight to artist's demands sent to the studios and producers. Together with a collection of original letters from the Make-Up Assoc. to the Association of Motion Picture Producers requesting the daily rate for makeup artists be increased to $15 per hour on an 8-hour work day, similar letters are present written to the Producers Association Code and Conduct and Working Conditions, a letter from Fox Film studios acknowledging receipt of suggested code changes, various US Postal Service signed return receipts from studios including MGM, Paramount, etc., a 2-page letter titled, "The Importance of Make-Up in Motion Pictures. Save Fifteen Dollars, but Lose Hundreds." sent from, United Artist's Director of Make up, Bob Stephanoff, to producers outlining the importance of makeup artists in motion pictures. In part: "Attention Mr. Producer - Here is an actual fact, where in the making of a feature motion picture, we have overlooked an unnecessary expenditure, possibly due to the fact that MAKE-UP to this industry, is yet rather new; therefore executives have not yet taken up any of their valuable time to become interested and discover what I have through experience and experiments, while engaged in more than 15 years in the art of make-up." The letter goes on to highlight waste and expense in not having a professional make-up artist on set, in part: "I understand that the actual cost of a Feature is approximately $1,000 an hour. 1. When the actor makes himself up, in most cases, I find he takes more time than if he were made up by a make-up artist, and in most instances he will be late on set. That's LOSS NO 1 - say five minutes - $100.00. Overlook that! 2. When the actor accidentally spots his make-up, he usually takes it off and puts on a whole new make-up. The least time required for any actor to apply the most simple make-up is ten minutes, no matter how fast he may be; whereas, if there were an make-up artist on hand he could patch it up in less than five minutes. That's LOSS NO 2 - say five minutes - $100.00. Overlook that!" Also includes a demand sheet going over various pay requests for number of hours, overtime, holidays, location rate, etc., an 8-page "Code of Fair Competition for the Motion Picture Industry" stating codes for all studio employees regarding hours, conditions, etc. and giving comprehensive insight into wages as it lists hourly rates for over 50 studio jobs including carpenters, gaffers, sculptors, sign makers, fur finishers, model makers, chauffeurs, vault clerks, negative splicers and more, a demand letter from Studio Hairdressers Association to the Motion Picture Producers Assoc, a collection of 8-pages of rough drafts of makeup artists demands, which reads in part: "...many make-up artists in the industry are having difficulty in earning a livelihood, to provide food and shelter for themselves and family...", Copies of cover letters dated August 4, 1935 sent to various studios including Warner Bros, Universal, United Artists, MGM, Pathé, Fox, and RKO stating that requested Resolution and Code requests are enclosed, a collection of (4) Western Union telegrams: 2-between head of Make-up Association Mel Burns (make-up artist with over 200 credits), Edward McGrady and General Hugh Johnson, Administrator of the National Recovery Administration and 2-additional telegrams between makeup artist Jack Dawn (The Wizard of Oz, etc.) and McGrady and Johnson. Great content as the successful Dawn seeks advice as he wants to stay with an Association, yet is being recruited and feels if he doesn't join he may be punished by being blackballed by those who need a union more than he. And much, much more. This archive marks the genesis for makeup artists finally receiving the credit and appreciation they deserved and had gone without for so much of the earliest days of moviemaking. Exhibiting age and minor handling. In vintage very good to fine condition. Interested bidders are encouraged to view the archive in person by appointment at our offices.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2018
    11th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11
    Sold on Dec 11, 2018 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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