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

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Exhibits, Norman Rockwell

“If I hadn’t become a painter,
I would have liked to have been a movie director.”
—Norman Rockwell

WASH., D.C. — The Smithsonian American Art Museum is currently hosting an exhibition featuring the private art collections of two of America’s best-known modern filmmakers. Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is on view through January 2, 2011, and showcases 57 major Rockwell paintings and drawings.

George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Norman Rockwell Telling Stories

[Photo credit: CBS] Director George Lucas stands in front of Norman Rockwell’s “Shadow Artist” (1912).

According to the museum, Telling Stories is the first major exhibition to explore in-depth the connections between Norman Rockwell’s iconic images of American life and the movies.

During frequent visits to Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s, Rockwell designed posters for several studios and immersed himself in the culture of the movie industry. Rockwell’s exposure to Hollywood and movie productions affected the process that he used to construct his images and the stories he depicted in his paintings.

Norman Rockwell was a masterful storyteller who often went to great lengths to stage the scenes for his paintings. He auditioned the models, chose their costumes, arranged props, lighted the sets and, like a movie director, demonstrated poses and facial expressions. The artist created scenes that parallel themes also found in movies, popular fiction and current events.

The films of Lucas and Spielberg, like Rockwell paintings, evoke love of country, small-town values, children growing up, unlikely heroes, acts of imagination and life’s ironies.

For more on this exhibit, please visit

Through association with the Norman Rockwell Licensing Company (the estate of the artist) and Curtis Publishing (owner of the copyrights of the Saturday Evening Post artwork), Park West Gallery has been able in recent years to bring new and exceptional collecting opportunities for Norman Rockwell artworks to enthusiastic collectors. For more information, please call 800.521.9654 x 4 or email

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