Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

1st floor West, Smithsonian American Art Museum – July 2, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Two of America’s best-known modern filmmakers—George Lucas and Steven Spielberg—recognized a kindred spirit in the artist Norman Rockwell and formed significant collections of his work. Lucas, Spielberg and Rockwell have perpetuated American ideals about love of country, personal honor, and the value of family through their work. With humor and pathos, they have transformed ordinary people and the quotidian incidents of everyday experience into stories that show us our better selves and the values that have sustained Americans through good times and bad. All three share an ability to communicate visually with mass audiences using popular media of their time. Telling Stories is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Rockwell’s iconic images of American life and the movies.

This exhibition showcases fifty-seven major Rockwell paintings and drawings from these private collections. A 12-minute film with excerpts from interviews in which Lucas and Spielberg talk about Rockwell and the works in their collections will be shown in the exhibition galleries. Telling Stories is organized by Virginia M. Mecklenburg, senior curator.

A catalogue, published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Abrams, will accompany the exhibition. Written by Mecklenburg with a contribution by Todd McCarthy, film critic for Variety, the publication will be available for $65 hardcover ($45 softcover) in the museum store, online, and at book stores nationwide.

Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Booz Allen Hamilton has provided generous support as the corporate sponsor of the exhibition. The Museum also gratefully acknowledges the contributions of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

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