Finding Aid for the John Detlie Set Designs PASC.032

Finding aid prepared by Courtney Dean, 2020.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Online finding aid last updated 2020 December 9.
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575

Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Title: John Detlie set designs
Creator: Detlie, John S. (John Stewart)
Identifier/Call Number: PASC.032
Physical Description: 113 Linear Feet (1 flat box and 6 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1934-1942
Physical Location: Stored off-site. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
Language of Material: English .

Conditions Governing Access

Unprocessed collection. Material is unavailable for access. Please contact Special Collections reference ( for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Detlie set designs (Collection PASC 332). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived user interest and research value, availability of staff and resources, and competing priorities. Library Special Collections provides a standard level of preservation and access for all collections and, when time and resources permit, conducts more intensive processing. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards and best practices.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6331949 

Biographical / Historical

John Stewart Detlie was born December 23, 1908 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He earned a BA in Science at the University of Alabama (1928) and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1934). He served as an artist for Warner Brothers studio from June to September 1934 and as Art Director for Metro Goldwyn Mayer from December 1934 to May 1942. In 1940, he was nominated for an Oscar for his work as production designer on the film Bitter sweet, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Among his film credits are Another thin man, Captains Courageous, Saratoga, A Christmas carol, Strike up the band, Andy Hardy's private secretary, A family affair, Test pilot, I married an angel, Panama Hattie, and Broadway melody of 1940. Detlie was also once married to film actress Veronica Lake. Detlie left MGM 1942 to serve in the US Army Corps of Engineers where he worked on a project where Boeing Aircraft camouflaged nearly 26 acres of the plant in Seattle, where the B-17 and, later, the B-29 were built. After leaving the service he joined the firm of Young & Richardson 1946-1956. After leaving the firm he worked independently until he formed Detlie and Peck in Seattle (1957-1960). In 1960 he joined the firm of Daniel, Mann, Johnson, & Mendenhall (1960-1974). Over his career an architect, he served on various professional and civic organizations in Washington and California. Detlie was a noted architect in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Honolulu before he retired near Palm Springs. He died of cancer on November 30, 2005 in Westlake Village, California.

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of sketches and set stills related to the motion picture career of set designer John Detlie. The sketches include material for the projects R.U.R, Captains Courageous, and Rose Marie. Set stills include images from the projects I married an angel, Cross roads, and Panama Hattie. Additionally, there is a continuity sketch for an untitled MGM dance number and sketches of Mickey Rooney character for Live, love and learn.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Motion picture set designers California, Southern