Dorothea Redmond — A CREDIT to Her Profession
80 years ago — January 17, 1940, one of the most highly anticipated and celebrated films to grace the silver screen debuted. Gone With The Wind forever transformed the cinematic experience with its Technicolor retelling of Margaret Mitchell's saga of the old South.
While considered a controversial film today due to its subject matter, the vivid setting and visioning of a world long past is credited to William Cameron Menzies, with Art Direction by Lyle Wheeler. Interior designs for the film are credited to Joseph Platt and Edward Boyle, but one name still sadly omitted from the credits of this landmark film is: Dorothea Redmond.
The only female artist at Selznick International Pictures, Dorothea Holt Redmond's brilliant ink and watercolor illustrations established the sweeping tone and definitive look of this epic film. Once finished, Dorothea's distinctive designs were then handed off to the set architects and decorators — men (listed above) who were given full credit on the final film.
Dorothea's watercolor of Tara in Gone With The Wind
The first female production designer in Hollywood, Dorothea later worked with many of Hollywood's leading directors including Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, C.B. DeMille and others, defining vibrant cinematic worlds on a wide range of classic films including: Rebecca, The Best Years of Our Lives, Rear Window, The Ten Commandments, Funny Face, Sabrina, White Christmas and many more.
Following a tenure at an architectural firm, Walt Disney brought Dorothea's talents and vision to WED, where the impact of her work in New Orleans Square and beyond is still enjoyed by millions of guests each year.
Her distinctive touch can be found at WDW with early designs for structures, restaurants and experiences along Main Street, as well as within Adventureland and Fantasyland. Most notably, her timeless murals featured throughout Cinderella's Castle continue to marvel and enchant millions of guests each year.
Generations have experienced the magic of her work, but the name and face behind the end result is rarely recognized. In marking the 80th Anniversary of one of her earliest films, it's time to finally give credit where credit is fully due. Here's to the magical times and places we continue to experience, thanks to the brilliant designs and artistry of Dorothea Redmond!