Apparently movie directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are both avid collectors of the work of the great American illustrator Norman Rockwell. Unlike those of us who might indulge in a fondness for Rockwell by collecting old Saturday Evening Post covers, Lucas and Spielberg can afford to collect Rockwell’s originals, and have done so extensively.
Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is a new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. that runs from now until January 2, 2011.
The museum has a slideshow on its website (be sure to click on the individual images for the larger versions) that shows the fascinating range of Rockewell’s work represented, from iconically famous works to pieces you just never see. There are also a number of Rockwell’s drawings, some preliminaries for famous works, as well as a painted rough for at least one painting. The slideshow contains almost 60 images.
Both directors, who recognize their role as storytellers, admire Rockwell’s mastery of the power of illustration in telling stores. Spielberg, who conceived of the exhibition and convinced Lucas to join him, said of Rockwell: “He was always on my mind because I had a great deal of respect for how he could tell stories in a single frozen image. Entire stories.”
There is some additional backstory and insight on the exhibition in a review on the New York Times.