Smithsonian hosts exhibit on Rockwell’s Hollywood ties


WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg” will be on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., from July 2 through Jan. 2, 2011. The museum is the only venue for the exhibition.

“Telling Stories” is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Norman Rockwell’s iconic images of American life and the movies. Two of America’s best-known modern filmmakers—George Lucas and Steven Spielberg—recognized a kindred spirit in Rockwell and formed significant collections of his work. The exhibition showcases 57 major Rockwell paintings and drawings from these private collections.

“Norman Rockwell is an artist and a storyteller who captured universal truths about Americans that tell us a lot about who we are as a people,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Like Rockwell, both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg embrace the idea that ordinary people can become unlikely heroes. I am delighted that the Smithsonian American Art Museum is organizing the first exhibition to explore these new connections between Rockwell’s art and the movies.”

Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm, is supporting the exhibition. “In Norman Rockwell’s art, we see ourselves, our families and our neighbors—the heart and spirit of America,” said Ralph W. Shrader, chairman and CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton. “We are delighted to support the Smithsonian American Art Museum on this major project, including an exciting series of public programs.”

Rockwell was a masterful storyteller who could distill a narrative into a single frame. His pictures tell stories about the adventure of growing up, of individuals rising up to face personal challenges, the glamour of Hollywood and the importance of tolerance in American life. He created his pictures with techniques used by filmmakers—he auditioned models for the “cast,” arranged props and lighted sets and, like a movie director, demonstrated poses and facial expressions.

The exhibition is based on new research into Rockwell, his work and the relationships between the artist and the movies. ?




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Among the paintings included in the groundbreaking exhibit Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg includes this classic titled The Flirts from 1941. The oil on canvas is from the collection of Steven Spielberg.

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