George Sidney (1916-2002) was a film director during the Golden Age of Hollywood filmmaking (1927-1954). He spent the longest period of his career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) until the 1950s. He later produced and directed films for Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures. He was a president of the Directors Guild of America and an avid photographer. He was the recipient of three awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar). The collection consists of photographs, photographic negatives, personal and business materials, and film. The collection also contains material created by George Sidney's uncle, George Sidney, vaudevillian and motion picture actor.
Scope and Contents:
The George Sidney Collection consists of approximately eighty-eight cubic feet of photographs and materials from the Hollywood director George Sidney, most dealing with his career in motion pictures. Sidney was an avid photographer and collector of photographs documenting extremely well the Hollywood film community during the Studio Era (1927-1954) of filmmaking. The bulk of the collection is from Sidney's most productive years, circa 1937-1968.
MGM's motto was "More Stars than there are in Heaven" and the researcher would be advised that the extent of this collection is such that it is impossible to list and identify all of the celebrities and personalities photographed, both behind and in front of the camera. There are stills from Sidney's many productions as well as his on-set personal photographs. There are photographs from dinner parties, and many studio and film community functions. Productions are dated to their generally accepted first theatrical release date (Los Angeles and New York) and in the case of a Broadway show to their opening date.
The collection is arranged into six series.
Series 1: Photographs, Photographic Negatives, and Slides, 1914-1996, undated.
Subseries 1.1: The Camera Eye of George Sidney, undated.
Subseries 1.2: Productions (Motion Picture, Stage, and Radio), 1921-1968.
Subseries 1.3: Personalities and People, 1932-1996, undated.
Subseries 1.4: Personal and Family, 1914-1992, undated.
Subseries 1.5: Family Photograph Albums and Scrapbooks, 1918-1950, undated.
Subseries 1.6: Travel and Locations, 1940-1981, undated.
Subseries 1.7: Studio, Entertainment, and Public Events, 1949-1995, undated.
Series 2: Production Ephemera, Posters, Scripts, 1930-1991, undated.
Subseries 2.1: Production Posters, 1943-1964, undated
Subseries 2.2: Production Ephemera and Scripts, 1930-1991, undated
Series 3: Office Files and Personal Material, 1903-2002, undated
Subseries 3.1: Personal Material, 1944-2002, undated
Subseries 3.2: Correspondence, Random Files, Indices, and Inventories, 1903-2002, undated
Series 4: Music Manuscripts, Sheet Music, and Music Related Material, 1885-1992, undated
Subseries 4.1: Music Manuscripts, 1937-1960, undated
Subseries 4.2: Sheet Music, 1885-1990
Subseries 4.3: Music Related Material, 1971-1992, undated
Series 5: Audiovisual, 1933-2001, undated
Subseries 5.1: Film, 1940-1960, undated
Subseries 5.2: Audio, 1933-2001, undated
Subseries 5.3: Video, 1989-2001, undated
Series 6: George Sidney (1877-1945), 1909-1945, undated
Biographical / Historical:
George E. Sidney was born in New York, New York on October 4th, 1916 into a show business family. His father Louis K. Sidney (birth surname Kronowith) (1891-1958) was a Broadway producer, actor-manager, and one of the vice-presidents of Loew's Incorporated. Sidney's mother, Hazael Mooney (?-1969), was a vaudeville performer, part of a sister act known as The Mooney Sisters. She was a native New Yorker, daughter of prominent New York City attorney Henry Mooney. She and Louis were married at her home, 12 West 109th Street, New York. Another residence was 179 West 63rd Street.
Louis K. Sidney began working for Loew's Incorporated in 1923. He managed theatres in Denver, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Dayton, and New York. Later he was in charge of stage productions for the theatre circuit. He was in charge of MGM's East Coast film production facility in New York. He and Hazael followed son George to Los Angeles in 1937. Louis produced two motion pictures at MGM, The Big Store with the Marx Brothers and Hullabaloo. After February 1951, he was a member of the four man executive committee in charge of MGM. At his retirement in 1955, Louis K. had risen to the position of vice-president of Loew's, Incorporated. He served as vice-president and director of the Motion Picture Producers Association, as a director of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and the Hollywood Coordinating Committee.
George Sidney had two uncles in show business, Jack Sidney, known as "Jack of Spades" a black-face comedian, and Sidney's half-uncle, George Sidney (1877-1945) (real name Samuel Greenfield), a vaudeville comic. George had a successful Broadway and screen career, most notably as the bum, Busy Izzy, a character that lasted on the vaudeville circuit from 1901-1915. His initial Broadway success was in a show entitled Welcome Stranger that ran for 309 performances. Welcome Stranger had an extensive touring schedule across the United States. In conjunction with Charlie Murray, he developed a comedy act known as Cohen and Kelly that was not only a vaudeville success but easily made the transition to motion pictures. The Cohens and Kellys films became a motion picture franchise for Universal Studios in 1924. He was married to Carrie Weber (?-1940). George was a member of the Friars Club and an avid sports fan. He owned a racehorse named Kibbitzer.
George Sidney made his on-screen debut in The Littlest Cowboy (1921) starring Tom Mix. He moved to Los Angeles in 1930. Sidney went to work as a messenger at MGM. Louis B. Mayer's nickname for Sidney was "boy". Sidney flourished at the studio and by the time he was twenty he was directing screen tests and one-reel shorts. He directed installments in the Our Gang and Little Rascals series, as well as the Pete Smith and the Crime Does Not Pay series. He won back-to-back Oscars for two of his shorts, Quicker'n a Wink (1940) and Of Pups and Puzzles (1941). His feature film directing debut was Free and Easy (1941) starring Robert Cummings. His first major film musical was the all-star, war time musical, Thousands Cheer (1943), starring Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly. Sidney always indicated he viewed films as entertainment and seems to have rejected the auteur theory of directing embraced by some of his well known colleagues such as John Ford and Vincent Minnelli. His film, The Three Musketeers (1948), starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, was one of MGM's highest grossing films in the post World War Two period. He won his third Oscar for the short, Overture to 'The Merry Wives of Windsor, in 1954. Jupiter's Darling (1955) with Esther Williams was Sidney's last film for MGM. He was loaned to Columbia Pictures to direct The Eddy Duchin Story (1956), after which his contract at MGM ended.
Sidney went on to become an independent producer and director at Columbia Pictures where he directed such films as Pal Joey (1957), starring Frank Sinatra, and Bye Bye Birdie (1963) starring Ann-Margret. He returned to MGM in the 1960s to make A Ticklish Affair (1963), starring Shirley Jones and Viva Las Vegas (1964), starring Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley. His last film was the musical Half a Sixpence (1967) starring Tommy Steele for Paramount Pictures. Sidney also directed and produced for television most notably Who Has Seen the Wind (1964). He financed and founded Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1944. He was a two-term president, 1951-1959 and 1961-1967, of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), earlier known as the Screen Directors Guild (SDG).
In his personal life, Sidney was married in 1942 to legendary MGM drama coach, Lillian "Burnsie" Burns Salzer (1903-1998). He was eight years her junior. They lived at the Sidney home (1140 Tower Road) in Beverly Hills. They divorced in the mid 1970s. For a brief time Sidney maintained a penthouse apartment for George Sidney Productions at 144 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. He maintained a suite (301) in the Palm Wilshire Building, 9201 Wilshire Boulevard in the 1970s. He married his second wife, Jane Adler Robinson (?-1991), second wife and widow of actor Edward G. Robinson (1893-1974), around 1978. The house at 1140 Tower Road was sold and Sidney moved to the Robinson home at 910 Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills. Sidney married his third wife, Corinne Kegley Entratter (1937-?), widow of showman and Las Vegas entrepreneur John Entratter, in 1991. Sidney was a prolific photographer. He collected art and was apparently an avid gardener. He was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada in May 2002.
The Harry Warren Collection, AC0750
The Groucho Marx Collection, AC0269
Sidney related artifacts from Sidney's films are housed in the Division of Culture and the Arts, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. There are scrapbooks donated by the Sidney Estate in the collection of the Cinema-Television Library, Doheny Library, University of Southern California, consisting of eleven volumes containing photographs, correspondence, publicity documents, and other materials, circa 1933-1963.
This collection was donated to the Archives Center in 2005 by Corinne Entratter Sidney, widow of George Sidney.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with cotton gloves. Researchers may use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis and as resources allow.
Viewing film portions of the collection requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to LP recordings is only possible by special arrangement.
Special arrangements required to view materials in cold storage. Using cold room materials requires a three hour waiting period.
Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. All requests for permission to use these materials for non-museum purposes must be addressed directly to the Archives Center, and the Archives Center will forward the request to the copyright holder. Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
The 19 scrapbooks in this series are the collection's main source of Macbeth Gallery exhibition catalogs and related news clippings. Although incomplete, the scrapbooks provide fairly comprehensive coverage of the gallery's history and include material on day-to-day events at the gallery as well as important occasions such as the gallery's fortieth, fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries, news of the art world in general and some photographs. Some of the scrapbooks also contain printed material related to art, exhibitions and events elsewhere. Many of the exhibition catalogs found here are annotated with prices and other notes. Notably missing is the catalog for the 1908 exhibition, The Eight.
See Appendix for a list of Macbeth Gallery exhibitions documented in Series 5: Scrapbooks.
As some of the dates of the scrapbooks overlap, they were numbered 1-19 for clarity. The scrapbook cover for #3 is housed in Box 120, and the contents are housed in Box 122.
Appendix: Macbeth Gallery Exhibitions Documented in Scrapbooks:
This chronological list of Macbeth Gallery exhibitions is extensive, but incomplete. While an attempt has been made to establish the accuracy of the information provided here, dates and titles of exhibitions are not guaranteed to be accurate. Most of the exhibitions listed here are documented in the scrapbooks through exhibition catalogs and/or invitations, lists of artwork and news clippings. The list is annotated with AAA microfilm reel and frame numbers to assist researchers in locating material on specific exhibitions.
Scrapbook 1, 1892-1901
Dec. 7-21, 1892 -- Water Colors by American Artists (NMc1: 273-275)
Jan.23-Feb.11, 1893 -- Landscapes in Oil (NMc1: 276-277)
Feb. 27-Mar. 18, 1893 -- Landscapes in Oil by William Keith (NMc1: 278-279)
Mar. 20-Apr. 8, 1893 -- Watercolors by Dutch Artists (NMc1: 281-282)
Nov. 8-29, 1893 -- Second Annual Exhibition of Watercolors by American Artists (NMc1: 283-285)
Dec. 2-16, 1893 -- Drawings in Watercolors and in Black and White by C. R. Grant and Wilson De Meza (NMc1: 287-290)
Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 1894 -- Pictures and Sketches by Anton Mauve (NMc1: 291-292, 311-313)
Feb. 6-17, 1894 -- Paintings by Henry W. Ranger (NMc1: 295-296)
Jan. 21-Feb. 2, 1901 -- Pictures and Portraits by Wilbur A. Reaser (NMc1: 385)
Feb. 25-Mar. 9, 1901 -- Frederick Ballard Williams (NMc1: 394-395)
Feb. 4-16, 1901 -- Landscapes by Alexander H. Wyant and George Inness (NMc1: 390-391)
May 9-31, 1901 -- Paintings by Arthur B. Davies (NMc1: 400-402)
Nov. 29-Dec. 14, 1901 -- Watercolors, Color Prints from Wood Blocks and Etchings Printed in Color by Helen Hyde (NMc1: 405-406)
Scrapbook 2, 1893-1898
Primarily news clippings.
Scrapbook 3, 1902-1910
Feb. 3-15, 1902 -- Private Collection of American Pictures (NMc1: 2-5)
Mar. 17-29, 1902 -- Some Phases of London When the Lamps Are Lighted, Done in Pastel by Fernand Lungren (NMc1: 10-13)
Mar. 31-Apr. 5, 1902 -- Group of Pictures by Sidney Starr (NMc1: 13)
Apr. 1-12, 1902 -- Pictures by Robert Henri (NMc1: 15-16)
Apr. 14-26, 1902 -- Drawings by Jane Erin Emmet (NMc1: 21-22)
Apr. 28-May 11, 1902 -- Landscapes by W. L. Lathrop (NMc1: 20)
Jan 19-31, 1903 -- Drawings and Sketches by Homer D. Martin, 1836-1897 (NMc1: 27)
Jan. 27-Feb. 11, 1905 -- Pictures by William Sartain (NMc1: 37-39)
Feb. 23-Mar. 8, 1905 -- Paintings by Arthur B. Davies (NMc1: 62-64)
May 1-6, 1905 -- Oil Paintings by American Artists from the Macbeth Gallery (at the Galleries of George D. Brodhead, Rochester, NY) (NMc1: 69-72)
Jan 29-Feb. 10, 1906 -- Abbot H. Thayer and Gladys Thayer (NMc1: 77-78)
Feb. 19-Mar. 3, 1906 -- Pictures by Charles H. Davis (NMc1: 79-80)
Mar. 10-24, 1906 -- Stephen Parrish (NMc1: 81-82)
Nov. 9-24, 1906 -- A Group of American Paintings (NMc1: 91-92)
Jan. 11-26, 1907 -- Paintings by William Sartain (NMc1: 100-101)
Feb. 1-16, 1907 -- Paintings by Paul Dougherty (NMc1: 105-106)
Feb. 23-Mar. 9, 1907 -- Paintings by Charles H. Davis (NMc1: 107-108)
Mar. 11-23, 1907 -- Portraits by Ellen Emmet (NMc1: 112-113)
Mar. 28-Apr. 3, 1907 -- Paintings by William Keith (NMc1: 115-117)
Nov. 11-23, 1907 -- Paintings by Augustus Vincent Tack (NMc1: 124-125)
Nov. 27-Dec. 12, 1907 -- Paintings by John La Farge (NMc1: 127-131)
Jan. 6-18, 1908 -- Paintings by Jerome Myers (NMc1: 133-134)
Jan. 20-Feb. 1, 1908 -- Paintings by Paul Dougherty (NMc1: 137-138)
Feb. 3-15, 1908 -- Exhibition of Paintings by Arthur B. Davies, William J. Glackens, Robert Henri, Ernest Lawson, George Luks, Maurice B. Prendergast, Everett Shinn, John Sloan (NMc:142-143 Catalog missing from scrapbook)
Feb. 19-Mar. 7. 1908 -- Forty Selected Paintings by Living American Artists (NMc1: 147-149)
Mar. 11-24, 1908 -- Paintings by a Group of American Artists (Deceased), Copley to Whistler (NMc1: 151-152)
1908 -- Kwaunon Meditating on Life by John La Farge (NMc1: 155)
Nov. 10-25, 1908 -- Paintings by Howard Pyle (NMc1: 158-159)
Nov. 27-Dec. 10, 1908 -- Paintings by Charles Melville Dewey (NMc1: 161-162)
Dec. 15-31, 1908 -- Bronzes by a Group of American Artists (NMc1: 165-166)
Jan. 7-21, 1909 -- Forty Selected Paintings by Living American Artists (NMc1: 168-169)
Jan. 22-Feb. 4, 1909 -- Paintings by Henry W. Ranger (NMc1: 171-172)
Feb. 5-18, 1909 -- Paintings by Paul Dougherty (NMc1: 176
Feb. 19-Mar. 4, 1909 -- Arthur B. Davies (NMc1: 178)
Mar. 5-Mar. 18, 1909 -- Paintings by Charles H. Davis, N.A. (NMc1: 183-184)
Mar. 19-Apr. 1, 1909 -- A Group of Figure Subjects by Blendon Campbell, Charles W. Hawthorne, Robert Henri, George Luks, Kenneth Miller (NMc1: 186-187)
Apr. 2-15, 1909 -- Paintings by Louis Loeb (NMc1: 188-189)
Apr. 16-29, 1909 -- Paintings by a Group of Boston Artists (NMc1: 191-192)
May 10-22, 1909 -- Paintings by American Artists from the Macbeth Galleries, New York [at Findlay Art Co., Kansas City, MO] (NMc1: 195-197)
Nov. 18-Dec. 4, 1909 -- Paintings by Albert P. Lucas (NMc1: 203-205)
Dec. 7-24, 1909 -- Watercolors and Pastels by American Artists (NMc1: 207-210)
Dec 7-24, 1909 -- Second Annual Exhibition of Bronzes by American Sculptors (NMc1: 211-212)
Jan. 6-19, 1910 -- Sixteen Paintings of the Cornish Coast by Paul Dougherty (NMc1: 213-215)
Jan. 20-Feb. 2, 1910 -- Paintings by Mary Curtis Richardson of San Francisco (NMc1: 218-220)
Jan. 20-Feb. 2, 1910 -- First Exhibition of Paintings by Ben Foster (NMc1: 216-218)
Feb 3-16, 1910 -- Landscapes and Figures by Frederick Ballard Williams (NMc1: 227-229)
Feb. 3-16, 1910 -- Spanish Paintings by F. Luis Mora (NMc1: 225-227)
Feb. 17-Mar. 2, 1910 -- The Fur Jacket by J. McNeill Whistler (NMc1: 231-232)
Feb. 17-Mar. 2, 1910 -- Paintings by William Sartain (NMc1: 233-235)
Mar. 3-16, 1910 -- Fourteen Landscapes by Charles H. Davis (NMc1: 237-239)
Mar. 3-16, 1910 -- Recent Portraits by Cecilia Beaux (NMc1: 239-240)
Mar. 17-30, 1910 -- Paintings by Hermann Dudley Murphy (NMc1: 244-246)
Mar. 17-30, 1910 -- Figure Paintings by Charles W. Hawthorne (NMc1: 242-244)
Mar. 31-Apr. 13, 1910 -- Paintings of Baily's Island by Frederick J. Waugh (NMc1: 249-251)
Mar. 31-Apr. 13, 1910 -- Nineteen Landscapes by Chaucey F. Ryder (NMc1: 247-249)
Apr. 14-27, 1910 -- George B. Luks (NMc1: 253-255)
Apr. 30-May 14, 1910 -- The Woman's Art Club of New York, Exhibition of Works in Oil and Sculpture (NMc1: 259-262)
Scrapbook 4, 1907-1913
Primarily news clippings.
Scrapbook 5, 1910-1915
Nov. 3-16, 1910 -- Recent Paintings by Charles W. Hawthorne (NMc2: 1-2)
Nov. 17-30, 1910 -- The Navajo Country in Watercolors by Frederick J. McComas (NMc2: 4-6)
Dec. 6-24, 1910 -- Watercolors, Pastels and Small Bronzes (NMc2: 7-14)
Jan. 5-18, 1911 -- Portraits by Ellen Emmet (NMc2: 15-16)
Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 1911 -- Paintings by Henry B. Snell (NMc2: 17-24)
Feb. 2-22, 1911 -- A Group of Thirty Selected Paintings (NMc2: 25-28)
Feb. 23-Mar. 8, 1911 -- A Group of Forty Selected Paintings (NMc2: 29-32)
Mar. 9-22, 1911 -- Paintings by Charles H. Davis, Paul Dougherty, Daniel Garber, William Sartain, F. Ballard Williams (NMc2: 33-35)
Mar. 23-Apr. 5, 1911 -- A Group of Paintings by Ben Foster, Albert L. Groll, Leonard Ochtman, Chauncey F. Ryder, Gardner Symons (NMc2: 36-38)
Apr. 8-22, 1911 -- The Woman's Art Club of New York, Exhibition of Works in Oil and Sculpture (NMc2: 39-42)
Nov. 16-29, 1911 -- Landscapes, Marines and Wood Interiors by Robert Henri (NMc2: 45-48)
Dec. 6-30, 1911 -- Small Bronzes by American Sculptors (NMc2: 49-52)
Fragile original scrapbooks are closed to researchers. For more information, please contact Reference Services.
Macbeth Gallery records, 1838-1968, bulk 1892 to 1953. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Getty Grant Program. Digitization of the scrapbooks was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee. Correspondence, financial and shipping records, inventory records, and printed material were digitized with funding provided by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.
The Hooks-Epstein Galleries records measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1980. This small collection includes an exhibition list, 1970-1978, exhibition catalogs, a copy of the gallery policies, and a newspaper article about the business. Exhibition catalogs include shows for J. M. Sorg, Hib Sabin, Peter Paone, Sherry Sullivan, Lee Waisler, and more.
Scope and Contents:
The Hooks-Epstein Galleries records measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1980. This small collection includes an exhibition list, 1970-1978, gallery catalogs, a copy of the gallery policies, and a newspaper article about the business. Exhibition catalogs include shows for J. M. Sorg, Hib Sabin, Peter Paone, Sherry Sullivan, Lee Waisler, and more. Also present is a miscellaneous letter from 1937.
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Inc. was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1969, by sister-in-laws Geri Hooks and Evan Epstein. Later, Geri Hooks' husband, Charles, joined the business in 1974 around the same time that Epstein left the gallery. Hooks-Epstein began with exhibitions of prints and antique objects, but quickly moved on to specialize in works on paper and ultimately included fine art glass as well. Past artists shown in the gallery include Robert Pruitt, Kermit Oliver, Ward Saunders, Mark Greenwalt, Clara Hoag, Edward Lane McCartney, Kingsley Powers Onyeiwu, Toots Zynsky, Alex Gabriel Bernstein, and Bertil Vallien. Hooks-Epstein Galleries is among the longest running art galleries in Texas.
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming in 1981 by Geri and Charles Hooks as part of AAA's Texas Documentation Project. Reels 3127-3128 contain files and two scrapbooks from exhibitions for artists Peter Chinni, Peter Paone, Sherry Sullivan, Zolita Sverdlove, Lee Waisler and others. The microfilmed material consists of resumes, correspondence, price lists, catalogs, press releases, and newspaper clippings; photographs of exhibition installations are also included. Loaned materials were returned to the donor after microfilming and are not described in the collection container inventory.
The collection was donated in 1981 by Geri and Charles Hooks.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art galleries, Commercial -- Texas
Hooks-Epstein Galleries records, 1937-1980. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.