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Vintage original 15 x 21” (38 x 54 cm.) costume sketch, U. S. Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Melvyn Douglas, dir: George Stevens, RKO. Costume sketch, realized in water color on paper and mounted on modern art board. Design and sketch by Walter Plunkett, signed boldly at bottom right of the art. Sketch is of costume for lead star Barbara Stanwyck in one of her finest career-defining roles, based on the life of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show sharp shooting star. Plunkett was not given screen credit for his contribution to this film. MINT Walter Plunkett began his Hollywood costume design career in 1927 and landed at RKO in 1929, where he remained as resident designer (sometimes sharing chores with Max Ree) until 1937, uncredited on screen until 1934, and erratically thereafter. While at RKO he created outstanding work for Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers (all her gowns for the Fred/Ginger musicals), Barbara Stanwyck and occasionally freelanced at other studios, notably for Mae West. He later costumed most of the MGM stars and continued to work through the 1960’s. His most prolific period was the late 1930’s, when he free lanced for several studios and landed the prime job of costume designer for GONE WITH THE WIND. The Academy Award for costume design was not established until 1948. Had it been established earlier, Plunkett would most certainly have one. He did manage 9 nominations in his career, winning in 1951 for AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.

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