MGM matte dept  
      MGM matte department around 1940.

Warren Newcombe (head matte department)
Matte painting from "The wizard of Oz" (1939)


 Ted Angel  .

Mark H Davies (Photography) .

Ray Schlagenhauser .

Oscar Medlock Born in Kelso, Washington on April 1, 1895.
Medlock studied at the Otis Art Institute in 1923-26. 
He then worked in Los Angeles for MGM Studios as a Matte Shot artist on and off, until the early 1940s. 
He was known as  a sky artist and worked on National Velvet,  the Wizard of Oz and several Westerns. 
He died in Sweet Home, Oregon in January 1980.


Otto Anton Kiechle and son Edgar Kiechle
Born in Kempten, Germany on July 26, 1885.  In 1901 Kiechle immigrated to New Orleans and soon moved to St Louis, MO where he created stained-glass windows.  In 1919 his graphic skills led him to Hollywood where he pioneered in the motion picture industry.  A scenic artist, he helped develop matte shots, an art technique of photographic art combined with actual scenery which created a total atmospheric image on film. 
His staff, under the direction of Cedric Gibbons, won many prices.

Edgar O. Kiechle was born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 24,1911. The family moved to Hollywood, California, in 1919. 
His father, Otto Anton Kiechle, was a painter of stained-glass windows and later painted background sets in the early movie days.

He noted Edgar's interest and ability and was his first teacher of art.
Encouraged early in his desire to become a painter, Edgar studied landscape painting.
 Director Michael Gordon had a superstition that made him put at least one of his favorite paintings by Edgar O. Kiechle into each film he directed. While one was being placed on the wall behind Kirk Douglas, Douglas quipped, "I've worked with a lot of tough directors, but he's the first one who ever insisted on holding something over an actor's head". 

Production Illustration  by Edgar Kiechle for Universal fil "Thw Wolrfam"(1941)


Frank W. Davies .

Albert Ashworth .

George Chittenden .

Bud O´Malley .

Vernon Mangold .

Hernando Villa


Hernando Gonzalo Villa (1881 - 1952) was a commercial artist and easel painter, best known for his work for the Santa Fe Railway.

Villa was born in Los Angeles the son of Esiquia and Miguel de Villa. His parents came to Los Angeles from Baja California in 1846 when the area was still part of Mexico. His father had a painting studio on the plaza. He studied at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design in 1905 and, after a year in Germany and England, he taught at the School for two years.

Villa established himself as a commercial artist in his home town, illustrating western magazines and creating advertising for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Santa Fe Railway. He enjoyed a forty-year relationship with the Santa Fe for which he created his best-known images including the Santa Fe Chief emblem.

Villa also executed easel paintings throughout his career which he showed primarily in California. He worked in oil, watercolor, pastel, and charcoal. His most frequent subjects were Native Americans, Mexican vaqueros, California missions, and coastal views. Villa created a mural for the New Rialto Theater in Phoenix, and won a gold medal for a mural exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in 1915.
Despite his painting work on movies, He also played as an "extra" in western films.


Bill Myers .

Sigmund Nesselroth .

Joe Duncan Gleason

Joe Duncan Gleason is internationally known for his landscape 
and marine paintings of San Pedro Harbour on the California 
coast, especially of historic sailing ships. 
He also wrote and illustrated several books on California maritime
history and worked for the scenic art department at 
Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Warner Brothers studios. 
He stayed in New York for ten years before returning to 
Los Angeles in 1910. Gleason was also a trained championship
gymnast, winning many medals during his career. 
He was also an author and illustrator of two books on the subject 
of the California coast. Later in life he worked for the MGM and
Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles. Gleason died in Glendale,
California on March 9, 1959.

He made some production illustration work for Willis O´Brien 
project "War eagles"


      Emile Kosa 


                 Stanley Poray

Stanislaus Pociecha Poray, a painter, illustrator, and teacher, was born in Krakow, Poland on April 10, 1888 of noble birth.

He was raised in an atmosphere of wealth and art. His father, Count Michael Poray, was an established landscape painter in his native city. The younger Poray studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and in Paris. He lived in Moscow and Siberia where he was art director of the First Art Theatre in 
Tomsk in 1918. Uprooted by the Russian Revolution, he 
decamped to the Orient where for three years he painted the Imperial family and other notables. 
After settling in Los Angeles in 1921, he soon became active in the local art world. The interior of his home, which he both designed and built, was a miniature reproduction of a Japanese temple. 
During his early years in California he painted landscapes, 
coastals, the missions, and nocturnes; however, later in life he specialized in still lifes. Evidenced in his painting is his study of ancient Chinese culture, philosphy, and art. 
His works were reproduced in the Los Angeles Times (12-2-1928) and Art Digest (11-1-1947). 
Poray was a resident of Los Angeles at the time of his death at the airport in New York City on October 18, 1948. 
Member: California Art Club; San Diego Art Guild; 
Société des Artistes Polonais (Paris); 
Los Angeles Art Ass'n; Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles. Exhibited: Springville (Utah) Museum, 1929 (honorable mention
Stendahl Gallery (Los Angeles), 1929, 1931, 1938 (solos); Hollywood Riviera Club, 1936; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939. Works held: Los Angeles County Museum of Art;Commercial Club (Los Angeles); Jonathan Club (Los Angeles); Gardena (CA) High School; Radcliffe College; Detroit Institute ofArt; Fogg Museum (Harvard).


Rufus Harrington .

Ralph Adams .

Lee Curtis .

Jack W Robson John Whitworth Robson lived as an American artist in Paris from 1905-1909. He was a member of the American Art Association of Paris and exhibited at the Salon of the highly esteemed Societe des Artistes Francais. Robson experienced Paris at a very unique time, just as the Impressionists and Expressionists had left their indelible mark on the art world. 

Robson’s drawings and etchings beautifully capture the people and places of Turn-of-The-Century Paris in a manner reminiscent of Edgar Degas and Toulouse Lautrec. One of the highlights of the collection is an etching of Moulin Rouge singer and dancer, Yvette Guilbert, whom Lautrec adored and depicted in several of his own works. Robson, who had a reputation as a gregarious ladies man, met and became friends with Guilbert in 1906. 

Another highlight of the collection is a large nighttime scene of Paris from above with the Eiffel Tower in the distance executed in charcoal and created as a backdrop for Hollywood's version of "A mid summer's night dream". The group also includes scenes of Tunisia created during the traditional Grand Tour, which included visits to Italy and Spain, taken during this same Paris period.

Robson returned to the U.S. in 1909, going first to New York and working as a commercial artist producing work for publications such as Metropolitan, Putnam’s Monthly, Pearson’s and others. Ultimately he settled in Los Angeles, opened a studio in the famed Wilcox Building, and began working with the movie industry as a commercial artist. Infamous female stunt pilot, Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes, worked with Howard Hughes on “Hell’s Angels” and later introduced him to Robson. During this time, Robson worked for Howard Hughes, Walt Disney and was known to have worked on “Wizard of Oz.” Robson was hired to create portraits of Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Wallace Berry, Barbara Stanwyck and other studio celebrities. 
He worked as  matte and title artis for films like 
Revelation (1924) (art titles) 
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) (art titles) 
Scaramouche (1923)

Many years later, and shortly before his death in 1946, Robson became disillusioned with the movie studios, and at a personal low point destroyed nearly all of his paintings in the backyard incinerator. For decades it was believed his lifetime of work had been erased forever. Thankfully, this wasn’t entirely true. Recently his son Jack, who has continued to live in the family home all of these years, uncovered a treasure trove of works from Robson’s time in Paris. These pieces had been lost in the attic and saved from his fit of destruction. This collection at Lost Art Salon comes from this group of recently re-discovered works. 

John Whitworth Robson was born in Pennsylvania on May 1, 1881 and was the third son of Dr. John W. Robson and Cella Lewis Robson. He attended the exclusive Shady Side Academy, took classes at the well-regarded Graphic Sketch Club (founded by Samuel Fleisher) and studied under artist, Howard Pyle. He later graduated from the Yale School of Art. 

In Paris and New York, Robson studied under and became close friends with master etcher, Lester George Hornby (1882-1956). In New York the two worked together. 

When he returned to the United States in 1909 he lived at 159 E. 33rd St., New York and opened his studio at 58 North 24th St. In 1912 he moved his family to Los Angles and lived at 926 West Moreland Ave. John and his wife had two children, a boy (Jack) and a girl. Robson died in Los Angeles on October 8, 1946.

Robson’s work is in the permanent collection of the Huntington Library (22 pieces) in Pasadena, CA and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, CA. He is profiled in Davenport’s Art Reference, Who Was Who in American Art, and “Artists in California 1786-1940” by Edan Hughes.

During his early career, Robson exhibited at the Shady Side Academy and Graphic Sketch Club, both in Philadelphia, The American Art Association, Paris and the Salon of the Societe des Artistes Francais, Paris. There are no known exhibits of his work after 1911.


Harry Widman .

Tom Tutwiler (matte camera) Date of Birth
14 December 1905, Texas, USA 
Date of Death
24 December 1984, Los Angeles, California, USA, 

The Old Man and the Sea (1958) (additional photographer) 
The Hunters (1958) (aerial photographer) 
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) (aerial photographer) 
Strategic Air Command (1955) (aerial photographer) 
The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) (photographer: second unit) 
Blaze of Noon (1947) (aerial photographer) 

Tarzan Escapes (1936) (photographic effects) 
Mark of the Vampire (1935) (photographic effects camera) 

Winton Hoch  (Photography) .

Sidney Zipser .

Clarence Newton .

John Hamilton .

   To see some samples of MGM matte shots  visit the wonderful blogs of my good friend Peter Cook:

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