Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Spielberg’
Posted July 21, 2010on:
One of the great pleasures of living in or near Washington, DC is having access the incredible resources of the Smithsonian. We make good use of the museums, visiting weekly when the weather is cold and frequently in the summer. It is not easy to resist waxing poetical about the inspirational effect these places have on me!
So, to avoid yammering on for too long, I’ll get to the story…
My dad visited us in Arlington last week and he and I got to go see the WONDERFUL exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. All these Rockwell paintings and drawings were from the collections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
I grew up with the images of Norman Rockwell and I remember mostly the realistic and homespun qualities of his pictures. I was surprised by the degree to which Norman Rockwell paints emotion, which is stronly communicated by the paintings in person. The pictures stirred such strong feeling in me that I couldn’t stand looking at any one of them for too long or I simply would have begun to weep and spudder. I wasn’t prepared for this…especially the one of woman meeting a train of orphans at a train station, titled “Good Boy (Little Orphan at the Train).” The woman stands there and looks at the boy who is to be hers. She has brought him a basket of food and he is huddled in the arms of a nun. The looks on their faces are so authentic. One can feel their anticipation, wonder, excitement and hesitance in that moment…both the boy’s and the woman’s. I’m overwhelmed even now, just thinking of it.
Of course, there is plenty humor! In “Happy Birthday Miss Jones,” is the class cut-up, wearing a red shirt. You see him from behind with an eraser on his head and it was undoubtably that boy who wrote “Happy Birthday Jonesy” on the blackboard.
One thing I noticed over and over in Mr. Rockwell’s pictures was his effective use of reds. The colors are striking in his paintings, but his use of reds made an impression on me. I also remember the wonderful blue of the sky above the boy who peers in terror over the edge of the diving board, 20 feet up. We’re always jumping off the high dive in one way or another. That’s Life!
See a slide show with the wall card information printed along-side a thumbnail of the paintings, here: http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/tellingstories/
But honestly, GO SEE the pictures in person. This slide show is nice, but it does NOT compare to seeing the pictures in person.
I was excited to find two Singable Picture Books illustrated with images from Norman Rockwell’s canon.
You’re a Grand Old Flag
Music and Lyrics by George M. Cohan
Illustrated with Paintings by Norman Rockwell
This book, not sold at the museum, is another wonderful find:
There is also a “revised and updated” edition of this book.
Although this is not a Singable Picture Book, it is about a wood thrush who sings and it is the only picture book Norman Rockwell created for especially for children. And, it is a real charmer about the JOY singing one’s own song can be to oneself and to others (and that is what I hope everyone will do with Singable Picture Books!).
Willie Was Different (A Children’s Story)
Written and Illustrated by Norman Rockwell
Hear the song of a wood thrush here:
Brief video histories of Norman Rockwell and his work:
American Chronicals “The Art of Norman Rockwell,” Part 1
American Chronicals “The Art of Norman Rockwell,” Part 2
Drawing Inspiration: Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge- part 1
Drawing Inspiration: Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge- part 2
Drawing Inspiration: Norman Rockwell in Stockbridge- part 3
The Norman Rockwell Museum’s YouTube Page
(an AMAZING resource for information and you get to see Norman Rockwell at work):
Website for the Norman Rockwell Museum