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Lucas, Spielberg present: Norman Rockwell as quasi-cinematic auteur

October 2, 2009 |  3:00 pm

Rockwell_shadow_artist_4latimes George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are teaming up for a new blockbuster. No, not a movie, but an art exhibition.

"Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg" won't be opening wide -- it's limited to a single venue, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, which has announced a six-month run from July 2, 2010 to Jan. 2, 2011.

The museum says the show, featuring more than 50 paintings and drawings, will be "the first major exhibition to explore the connections between Norman Rockwell's iconic images of American life and the movies."

The museum's press release notes that Rockwell's "images contain rich character development, subtle scenic contexts and implied narratives that resemble movie-making strategies." While Culture Monster suspects that the same could be said for masterworks of Breughel, Goya and that precursor of the horror movie genre, Hieronymus Bosch, none of them is on record as having expressed any cinematic ambitions.

Rockwell, on the other hand, "once said if he hadn't been an illustrator, he would have loved to be a movie director," Virginia M. Mecklenburg, a senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, told the Washington Post.

Video of Lucas and Spielberg talking about their love of Rockwell will play in the galleries.

-- Mike Boehm

Related:

Smithsonian to Feature Rockwell

Photo: Norman Rockwell's "Shadow Artist" (1920), from the collection of George Lucas. Credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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