Lot #516
Ernest Bachrach Academy Award for Still Photography

Bachrach’s 1947 Academy Award medal for still photography—a true rarity
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Estimate: $0+


Bachrach’s 1947 Academy Award medal for still photography—a true rarity

Revered photographer (1899–1973) of Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’ who was the still photographer for King Kong and Citizen Kane as well as most of RKO's classic output. He was especially well-known for his portrait studies of great actors and actress, including a series of color shots of Marilyn Monroe; also admired for his versatility, Bachrach's production work on King Kong is noted for the various effect shots and composites he produced both for continuity and the promotional campaign. Extremely rare Academy Award medal, measuring 1.75″ in diameter, given to Bachrach in 1947 for his work on Crossfire and The Farmer’s Daughter. Front features the words “Annual Still Photography Medal” and an Academy Award statuette in relief, with text to the reverse reading, “Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, First Award to Ernest A. Bachrach For Outstanding Achievement, 1947, Class 10.” In fine condition with some scattered tarnishing (most noticeable near the word ‘medal’ on the front).

Only two other medals such as this are known to exist, one awarded to Merritt Sibbald in 1941 and the other to Scotty Welbourne in 1942. Bachrach’s medal is unquestionably the most desirable, as he was one of the most prominent Hollywood photographers of the period; today, his work is arguably the most collectible of any of his peers. The other known awards were also sponsored by the Public Relations Institute, while this example was directly presented by the Academy and features the same wording that appears on the famous Oscar statuette. In addition to Bachrach's importance as a photographer, official awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are nearly impossible to obtain, and the extreme rarity of this particular medal makes this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Hollywood Auction
  • Dates: #422 - Ended January 23, 2014