Ever wanted to know what it's like to hold an Academy Award?
For the first time, Oscar fans can hold a real statuette and take a photo during the "Meet the Oscars Chicago" exhibit.
The exhibit is open Friday, February 13 until Oscar night, February 22 at The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue; admission is free.
This exhibit, exclusive to Chicago, features the manufacturing process of the statuettes. Several statuettes that are on display will be presented at next year's Oscars; another one of them is the legendary Clark Gable's Academy Award from his performance in "It Happened One Night" in 1934.
It's only thirteen and a half inches tall, just over five inches wide, and weighs eight and a half pounds. Don't let the size fool you, it takes skill, precision, and patience to create the Oscar statuette.
After casting, the Oscar's dull surface is buffed smooth and then polished for a mirror-like, shiny finish.
The next step is taking the awards to the electroplating room.
In there, the Oscars are dipped into several different liquid solutions; the last layer is 24 carat gold. After plating, each statuette is sealed with a heavy coat of lacquer.
Once the Oscar is assembled on top of its base, it's ready to be shipped off to Los Angeles.