Last week, the latest special exhibit opened up at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg” showcases 57 major Rockwell paintings and drawings from the private collections of two of Hollywood’s most influential modern moviemakers. The exhibition runs through January 2, 2011.
The exhibition – only being shown here in DC – is the first to plumb the depths of the connections between Rockwell’s images of American life and the movies. Between Rockwell’s work and the movies of Lucas and Spielberg, the themes of patriotism, small-town values, children growing up, unlikely heroes, imaginations, and life’s ironies are portrayed between canvas and film. “Ultimately, looking at Rockwell in terms of the movies opens a whole new way of understanding his work for the public,” said senior curator and exhibition organizer Virginia Mecklenburg, “but also for scholars interested in American popular and visual culture in the middle of the 20th century.”