Before
After
David Hempstead and Ginger Rogers
13th Annual Academy Awards
Nunnally Johnson
Lauren Bacall - Marilyn Monroe
There is a mystery and some controversy surrounding
how this item came to be.

Basing my thesis on the Time article, it is my belief given
Mr. Hempstead's extensive contacts in the industry he had
this item made from a casting of an authentic ACADEMY
AWARD® sometime prior to 1942.

The plaster Oscar was evaluated by an Academy Curator.  
The Academy  disclosed that the item was not known to
be sanctioned by the Academy nor does the Academy
believe they were  involved in the items manufacture.  
However, the Academy did disclose it is likely the item
was made from a casting of an original Oscar®  

This finding is good and bad. The  good is having a plaster
casting of an authentic Academy Award. The bad is the
Academy is claiming copyright enforcement in full force
preventing any future sale, or official display of the item.

I recently spoke to Avery Hempstead; David Hempstead's
daughter who resides in Beverly Hills.  Unfortanately she
was ill at the time of my conversation and could not recall
the item.
Producer David Hempstead, 33, broad-browed and volatile,
who broke the Hollywood ice with Kitty Foyle, quit his job as
Utah's Corporation Commissioner to become an RKO script
reader at $30 a week. Son of a well-fixed Salt Lake City
attorney, Hempstead talked to Hollywood's elder statesmen
from the start in the language they understood. "You're just
exactly 150% wrong!" became his standard utterance.

He also settled down (as writer, assistant producer, etc.) to
learn the business. He once had a derby-hatted wooden
Oscar made for himself, with the inscription: "In honor of
Nunnally Johnson [astute producer and Hempstead crony]
and David Hempstead, who are exactly 22½ years ahead of
their time." Says he: "Oscar is to remind me I'm good; the
derby hat to keep me from getting swell-headed about it."
David Hempstead - Nunnally Johnson 1940's award,  
described  by Time Magazine as an Oscar®.
This item was aquired  from a collector.  It is a statuette  
made of plaster, stands 14"  and belonged to David
Hempstead.   The Statuette is documented in a Time Magazine
article from Feb. 23, 1942 entitled "The New Pictures."  Given
the date of the article, Hempstead would have had this award
made somtime prior to Feb 1942. The article mistakenly
identifies the award as being made of wood, but it is clearly
made of plaster.  This discrepancy may have been due to the
base being made of wood or a mis-identification by the writer.  
  I recently had the award restored by the fine folks at Phoenix
Art Restoration in Seattle, WA.   As you can see by the photos
they did an Excellent Job!  My Thanks to Danny and his staff.
www.phoenixartrestoration.com

Hempstead became a producer at RKO Radio, and then
moved to 20th Century-Fox as an assistant to Nunnally
Johnson, and then as an Associate Producer on Darryl F.
Zanuck's staff.

Johnson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best
Screenplay in 1940 for "The Grapes of Wrath"  and the
Directors Guild of America Best Directors Award in 1956 for
"The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit."

Hempstead's credits as an associate producer  include
HAPPY LANDING, LITTLE MISS BROADWAY, HOLD THAT
CO-ED, STRAIGHT PLACE AND SHOW and JUST AROUND THE
CORNER (all 1938). Promoted to producer in 1939, his
subsequent credits include IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU (1939),
KITTY FOYLE: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF A WOMAN (1940),
JOAN OF PARIS (1942), FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, MR. LUCKY, THE
SKY'S THE LIMIT and TENDER COMRADE (all 1943), NONE BUT
THE LONELY HEART (1944), PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948), and
THE KING AND FOUR QUEENS (1956). Hempstead also wrote
the story for HELL AND HIGH WATER (1954).
Nominated for Best Picture 1940: KITTY FOYLE - Producer at
RKO Radio
The Derby Hat referenced in the article below, was
missing and presumably lost long ago.  There is
evidence in the "before" photo of where the derby
would have attached to the stauette's head at a
slight angle.
Oscar