Steven Spielberg and George Lucas created some of our most beloved cinematic memories (Indiana Jones, Star Wars) and then destroyed them (Jar Jar Binks, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Now these Hollywood behemoths are teaming up again to curate “Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.” Culling works from both super directors’ collections, this is the first Norman Rockwell exhibit to investigate the connection between his now-classic images of everyday American life and Hollywood. There is ample historical evidence that Rockwell was inspired by film. Early in his career, he designed several film posters and was once quoted as saying, “If I hadn’t become a painter, I would have liked to have been a movie director.”
The exhibit brings together 57 paintings and drawings for the first time ever, such as Shadow Artist (seen above) and Boy on High Dive (seen below), which normally hangs on Spielberg’s office wall.
Accompanying the exhibit is a 12-minute film about Rockwell’s work, which includes interviews with both Lucas and Spielberg. In addition, the museum will be screening a series of classic American films throughout the summer, including Mr. Deeds Goes to Town on Thursday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. Currently, there are no plans to screen either Howard the Duck or Hook.
The exhibition runs through January 2, 2011 at The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets, N.W. Free. (202) 633-7970.