Stephen Goosson

Stephen Goosson

  • Birthday: 1889-03-24
  • Deathday: 1973-03-25
  • Place of birth: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  • Also know as: Stephen Gooson


Stephen Goosson was Columbia Pictures' supervising art director for 25 years. A gifted artist, he is responsible for some of the most memorable sets in Hollywood history; from the oversized mansion towering over Mary Pickford in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921) to the fun house with its hall of mirrors in The Lady from Shanghai (1947). Goosson was an architect in Detroit before starting in pictures as art director for pioneer film producer Lewis J. Selznick (father of David O. Selznick) in 1919. he went on to work for Mary Pickford Productions, Frank Lloyd, DeMille Pictures as well as Fox before being hired by Columbia, where he remained for the rest of his career. From pencil drawings to final full-scale sets and regardless of budget, his work was always extremely rich in details, and always thoroughly researched and authentically built. Nominated for five Academy Awards, Goosson won for his magnificent sets of Shangri-La for Frank Capra's Lost Horizon (1937). They collaborated on seven other pictures from Platinum Blonde (1931) to Meet John Doe (1941). Always a visionary, he was just as comfortable with simple authenticity (like the cabin in It Happened One Night (1934) where "the wall of Jericho" is erected) than with grandiose concepts (such as his - and co-art director Ralph Hammeras - futuristic New York City of 1980 in Just Imagine (1930)). It is next to impossible to imagine any of these movies without Stephen Goosson's exquisite contributions.