Go to moma.org

Wynn Thomas, Production Designer

June 22, 2021 – July 16, 2021

The Museum of Modern Art

In this inaugural edition of our new screening series The Craft, which explores the work of artists and craftspeople whose visions bring films to life, we celebrate production designer Wynn Thomas. In his 40-year career, Thomas has crafted worlds alongside directors like Spike Lee, Tim Burton, Robert Townsend, Robert De Niro, and Ron Howard. Often recognized as the first African American production designer in American movie-making, Thomas got his start in the industry working with master designer Robert Sybil on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club, after years nurturing his talent for design in theater. He soon forged a relationship with Spike Lee, a collaboration that has spanned 35 years and 11 films. From She’s Gotta Have It to Da 5 Bloods, Thomas has designed the brightly colored sets that define Lee’s most iconic films. Thomas’s body of work—from the campy, candy-colored sci-fi sets of Mars Attacks! to the clubs, prison, and homes where Malcolm X spends his days in Lee’s eponymous epic—showcases his power to meticulously craft a reality for characters to inhabit in any era. The series is accompanied by an in-depth conversation with Thomas.

Presented as a series of live conversations and screenings throughout the year, The Craft honors some of the extraordinary—yet often unsung—talents working behind the scenes in cinema today. We hope to demystify the process of making movies while also preserving its magic, as costume designers and casting directors, producers and PR agents, editors, composers, stunt doubles, special effects supervisors, and various other industry professionals share unique perspectives, illuminating experiences, and secrets of the trade.

Films in the series will include:

June 22-27: Crooklyn. 1994. USA.  Directed by Spike Lee

June 23-25: Mars Attacks! 1996. USA. Directed by Tim Burton

June 24-29: To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. 1995. USA. Directed by Beeban Kidron

June 24-29: A Beautiful Mind. 2001. USA. Directed by Ron Howard

June 29-July 4: Mo’ Better Blues. 1990. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

June 29-July 4: Cinderella Man. 2005. USA. Directed by Ron Howard

June 30-July 2: Malcolm X. 1992. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

July 1-6: Do the Right Thing. 1989. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

July 1-6: A Bronx Tale. 1993. USA. Directed by Robert DeNiro

July 7-9: Wag the Dog. 1997. USA. Directed by Barry Levinson

July 14-16: Da 5 Bloods. 2020. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

Titus 1 Matinee screenings will include:

June 23-25: Mars Attacks! 1996. USA. Directed by Tim Burton

June 30-July 2: Malcolm X. 1992. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

July 7-9: Wag the Dog. 1997. USA. Directed by Barry Levinson

July 14-16: Da 5 Bloods. 2020. USA. Directed by Spike Lee

Organized by Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film.

The Craft series is overseen by Josh Siegel, Curator, and Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film. 

 

 

Chanel logo

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.

Press Kit

Images

Important: By downloading images you are agreeing to the following permissions: Images are provided exclusively to the press, and only for purposes of publicity of The Museum of Modern Art's and MoMA PS1's current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and news announcements. Permission to use images is granted only to the extent of the Museum's and MoMA PS1's ownership rights relating to those images—the responsibility for any additional permissions remains solely with the party reproducing the images. The images must be accompanied by the credit line and any copyright information as it appears above, and the party reproducing the images must not distort or mutilate the images.

Malcolm X. 1992. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Crooklyn. 1994. USA.  Directed by Spike Lee. Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. 1995. USA. Directed by Beeban Kidron. Universal Pictures/Courtesy Photofest

Mo’ Better Blues. 1990. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. Universal Pictures/Courtesy Photofest

Cinderella Man. 2005. USA. Directed by Ron Howard. Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Do the Right Thing. 1989. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection