1951 Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences boxed set
1951 Academy StereOscar- Bombing Scene
by Harry Abrahams, Chicago, IL winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Desert Fantasy
by Karl Struss, Los Angeles, CA winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Snow Plant by
Robert Haven, Oxnard, CA winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Forest Primeval
by Vera Haven, Oxnard CA winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Navajo Sheep Tenders
by Conrad Hodnik, Chicago IL winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Catalina at Dawn
by Margaret McGraw, Los Angeles CA winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- A GI Conquers Ft Fuji
by Robert Newcomer winner
Josie Oppenheimer helping to hand out the StereOscars at Beverly Hills camera club by Kent Oppenheimer
1951 Academy StereOscar- Desert Safari
by Karl Struss, Los Angeles, CA winner
1951 Academy StereOscar-3-Dimensional Painting
by Tommy Thomas, Los Angeles, CA winner
Josie Oppenheimer handing out the StereOscars awards at Beverly Hills camera club 2 by Kent Oppenheimer
1951 Academy StereOscar- Mt Rainier
by Lt John Hodgkin, Selma CA Merit winner
1951 Academy StereOscar- Jumping Porpoise
by Albert L Walls, Culver City CA - Honorable Mention
Josie Oppenheimer handing out the StereOscars awards at Beverly Hills camera club 3 by Kent Oppenheimer
1952 Academy StereOscar- Spring Symphony
by Robert A Haven, Oxnard CA WINNER
Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences
by Susan Pinsky and David Starkman
3-D Legends was created to honor and share information about people who have contributed in some significant or interesting way to the history of stereoscopy AND who have passed away. The Academy of Stereoscopic Arts and Sciences was not a person, but it was a short-lived 3-D organization that seems almost totally forgotten. For that reason, we want to devote a section to this "deceased" group here, on this website.
Most of what we know about this group is from a commercially sold box of stereo slides labeled "1951 Academy Award Winners -- The 10 greatest stereo color slides of the world for the year 1951, as judged by the Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences, Hollywood, California".
The box contained ten Stereo Realist format duplicates, along with a descriptive brochure.
That brochure states "On the evening of February 28, 1952, the Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences held its first International Premiere at a banquet sponsored by the Beverly Hills Stereo Club, at the Gourmet restaurant in Beverly Hills, California".
Under "General Information" it states that "the Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences is a non-profit institution, and exists for two purposes: 1: To search the world for the 10 Greatest stereo pictures of each year. and 2: to make these ten Academy Award winning stereo pictures available to commercial marketers of color slides so that stereo fans throughout the world can enjoy seeing and having them. Royalties will be paid to the winners of stereo slides sold."
In a 1954 letter to an Award winner, on the organization letterhead, the officers were listed as follows: President: Paul G. Horner, Vice President: Stanley Cooley, Secretary: John M. Horner, Chairman Award Committee: Howard Butts, Technical Advisors: H.C. McKay, Eustis Florida, Arthur W. Judge, London England.
The address on the letterhead is listed at 6112 Selma Avenue, Hollywood 28, California. Searching ads from 1950s photo magazines, that is the same address as Horner-Cooley Productions, Inc. This company advertised the sale of "Award Winning Stereo Slides", stereo slide mounts, and a stereo slide viewer. This would lead us to suspect that there was a commercial motive behind the creation of the Academy of Stereoscopic Arts and Sciences.
At the same time, the awards were given at a banquet of the Beverly Hills Stereo Club. This club is not to be confused with "The Stereo Club of Southern California" (SCSC), which started in 1955 and still meets monthly. However, that name has since been changed to the L.A. 3D Club (www.la3dclub.com ). This is mentioned just to clarify and differentiate the two organizations.
We knew the late Ruby Steins, one of the former Beverly Hills Stereo Club members, back in the 1980's and, from her, we got some issues of "The Beverly Hills Stereo-Scope", that club's newsletter.
Vol 1, No. 1 is dated September 1952. The By-Laws are dated March 1952, so we might guess that this was around the formation date of this club. The latest date of any literature we have from this club is a meeting announcement for January 1958, where they met at the Cheviot Hills Playground Auditorium in West Los Angeles.
Around 1958 seems to be when the last meetings of the Beverly Hills Stereo Club occurred. At it's peak, this club that had many celebrity members, including Harold Lloyd, Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and many famous actors and actresses of the day. We suspect that Harold Lloyd was a driving force in getting these celebrity members, and that, after a short while, only a smaller number of actors and actresses continued the 3-D hobby. We know that Art Linkletter and his wife continued to use a Kodak Stereo Camera, and Alan Young ("Mr. Ed), Ray Walston ("My Favorite Martian") and Roger Smith ("77 Sunset Strip" and husband of Ann Margret) were customers of our mail order company Reel 3-D Enterprises in the 1980's, still buying products to use their 1950's stereo cameras.
As for "the Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences", in spite of it's stated goals as being a non-profit organization, the Horner-Cooley address, and Misters Horner and Cooley being the President and Vice President of the organization, belies that statement!
One of our contacts has a letter dated 1954, written to a winner of an award for that year, along with copies of the brochures for the First and Second Annual Awards. The letter states that he was a winner in the Third Annual Awards. So, between 1951 and 1954, there appear to have been three award years. We have no documentation to indicate otherwise.
These slides and brochures seem to be pretty rare. Also, we would love to see an actual "StereOscar". Today, we figure the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would probably sue anyone trying to use names so similar to their organization and award!
Before he passed away, we were friends with Kent Oppenheimer, who was a commercial architectural photographer. Kent was also a 3-D photographer in the early 1950s and 60s, and was an active member of the Beverly Hills Stereo Club. When he passed away we inherited all of his 3-D slides, and among them were pictures of one of the Awards ceremonies, with his beautiful wife, Josie, handing out the StereOscars. We are happy to be able to share some of them here, along with copies of the Award winning slides.
Thank you to Ron Labbe, David Walsh, Andy Allison, Lawrence Kaufman and the late Sheldon Aronowitz for supplying source materials.
1951 and 1952 Academy of Stereoscopic Arts & Sciences brochures (this is the best we have. If you have some others we'd love to have copies.)
1951 October Popular Science magazine ad for Horner-Cooley
1954 May 7 Chicago Daily Tribune, courtesy of Andy Allison
1952 Mar 5 Los Angeles Times, courtesy of Andy Allison
1953 June 3 Chicago Tribune, courtesy of Andy Allison
1952 Academy Winner A BUTTERFLY'S WORLD
by Howard W Butts
1959 Cary Grant holding a Stereo Realist camera
1952 Academy Winner ROMAN CANDLE LIGHT
by Murray Korda
1953 Academy Winner LEAVES & BUTTERFLIES
by Alvin E Phillips
1953 Academy Winner THE SPHINX
by Geraldine Viskocil
Alfred Hitchcock holding a Stereo Realist camera
1952 General Dwight D Eisenhower using his Stereo Realist camera
1953 Academy Winner YOSEMITE DEER
by Albert Walls
Sunset Blvd director Billy Wilder and film star William Holden enjoying the third dimension
1952 Academy Merit Award THE MASTERS TOUCH
1952 Academy StereOscar MT SHUKSAN
by Ross R Matthews, Seattle, WA winner
1952 Academy Honorable Mention MULE DEER
by Louis Dammann, Egg Harbor City, NJ
1952 Academy Award Winner BRIDGE PAINTERS
by Arthur Pfiefer
1953 John Meredith and Penny Edwards in Professional Photographer magazine image Feb Realist ad
Paul Hesse and Marlene Dietrich
Hopefully, there is more to come on this page in the future.
As of January 2021 this is all we have. We welcome all related additions. Email