GWRL & Museum History

Family Tree

The GWRL&M was founded in Burbank in 2000 by Marvin G. Westmore, (Grandson of George H. Westmore) in order to serve the Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts students growing needs for historical research.  Since January 2006, the museum’s operations have been separate from the Makeup Academy in an effort to offer more specialized care and attention to the specific needs of a Makeup & Hair collection and develop a research library and museum to fulfill the community and cultural needs, add museum-trained personnel and create a respected Board of Directors.

In 2010 the Westmore Academy was purchased by Empire Beauty Schools @ www.Empire.edu and the Museum continued in it’s location.   Sadly,  after two years (March 2012) Empire decided because of the nations continued economic problem as well as most US Bank’s reluctance to issue educational loans, Empire would not maintain the Hollywood/Burbank location.  Currently Empire has over 107 location across the United States.

The GWRL&M was not part of the Westmore Academy acquisition and thus continues to operate  as a separate entity.  The Museum is working on special traveling exhibits for educational institutions and museums.

Academy Awards 2013 – During the week prior to the 85th Annual  Academy Awards event Marvin G. Westmore and Michael Westmore   talked with KPCC radio  about the historic Four Generations of Westmore’s in Hollywood History.

2014 is a landmark year for Makeup’s legendary Westmore family – marking 97 years of services that the family has provided to Hollywood’s film industry and as medical cosmetic specialists.

The program covers and provides consultation, counseling and instruction – in collaboration with physicians, surgeons, dermatologists and other medical specialists – to medically referred clients who have undergone aesthetic or re-constructive surgery, as well as post-trauma patients and those with congenital skin discoloration.  This program constitutes a cultural and social effort on behalf of the Westmore’s to enhance participant’s lives.  As pioneers of their industry, the Westmore’s not only created but defined the role of Makeup Artists in motion pictures.  Wigmaker George Westmore made history in 1917 when he opened the very first makeup department at the Selig-Polyscope Studios in Edendale, a suburb of Los Angeles next to Hollywood.  (Located in this same area was Mac Sennet’s Keystone Studios, Chaplain Studios, and Disney.)

The Westmores

The Westmores

George’s sons, Monte, Ern, Perc, and Wally went on to open their own makeup departments at Famous Players-Lasky Studio, then on Selma & Vine and later, Paramount Pictures on Melrose; First National and later Warner Brothers,  Selznick International; RKO Hollywood Studio; and Universal International.  By the 1930s nearly every movie studio had a Westmore heading their makeup department.  In 1935 the brothers teamed up to open the most opulent salon of its time, a glamour mecca: The House of Westmore at 6638 Sunset Boulevard on the famous Sunset Strip.   Although the salon closed in the mid sixties, the building remains a one part of the most historic building designs of early Hollywood.

Westmores of Hollywod

Westmores of Hollywod

George’s  two youngest son’s:  Bud Westmore ran the makeup department at Universal International Pictures for 24 years where he re-created the makeup designs for Universal’s horror characters including, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.   Frank was a freelance makeup artist who worked with Cecil B. DeMille on The Ten Commandments and wrote a family biography titled, The Westmore’s of Hollywood.

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