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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing stories
If you are really lucky you will be able to go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC to see the Norman Rockwell Telling Stories exhibit, and walk around smiling like the crowds of people do that see it. This book is the next best thing; it is a 12"x9" heavy coffee table book, done mostly with colour illustrations and black and white photos and pencil...
Published on July 20, 2010 by wogan

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was expecting this large book to have lots of high quality LARGE reproductions of the art. This book is more about the text than showing the art. Most of the images are pretty small. Debating about returning for a refund.
Published on December 2, 2010 by David Keith


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing stories, July 20, 2010
This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
If you are really lucky you will be able to go to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC to see the Norman Rockwell Telling Stories exhibit, and walk around smiling like the crowds of people do that see it. This book is the next best thing; it is a 12"x9" heavy coffee table book, done mostly with colour illustrations and black and white photos and pencil drawings. It accurately reproduces the paintings and illustrations of not only the exhibit but others of Rockwell's.
Lucas reflects the Rockwell viewpoint in his and Spielberg's film ideology. "When we were in film school, we would say, we're not making movies about the way things are; we're making films about the way things should be." Rockwell's pictures tell an idealized view of America and there is a running commentary on each of the pictures and how they came into being. There are some personal thoughts of Spielberg's and Lucas on some of the pictures in the narrative. Each picture has titles and includes the date, who owns it, size and what the medium is.

There are several pages in the beginning of the book labeled "The Mythmakers" that would have been better served by using the first person narrative that is shown in a film at the Smithsonian exhibit, which includes Lucas and Spielberg's thoughts on Rockwell and their collections. The film also tells how they do not clash with each other in purchasing Rockwell's works - interesting in that, one painting ' Happy Birthday', Lucas owns the pencil drawing and Spielberg owns the oil.

There are more illustrations and information than what is given in the exhibit, so even if you are fortunate enough to see it, you would be well served by this book; as would anyone interested in Americana, the ideals of the 20th century and of course Rockwell.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories behind Rockwell's canvases, September 23, 2010
By 
Jean E. Pouliot (Newburyport, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
Note: The George Lucas/Steven Spielberg connection to this book may be smart marketing, but is its least interesting aspect. Aside from contributing many of the photos and drawings for the book, they are hardly mentioned. What is worthy of discussion is the way that Rockwell painted, often by posing his friends and neighbors in period costumes, then having them photographed in various poses. It was marvelous to see a painting develop from an idea, to a series of photos, to a drawing and then to a full work in oil. "The Runaway," Rockwell's well-known painting of an arrant lad being counseled by a burly state cop, is accompanied by three of the black-and-white photos of the pair in various poses at a soda counter. I was fascinated to see what Rockwell retained (the cop's wide shoulders and kind intentions; the kid's upturned, innocent face) and what he discarded (the model who posed as the soda jerk). This gave me an insight into Rockwell's judgment as an artist.

For the most part, I found Virginia Mecklenburg's text enjoyable and informative. While she could occasionally lapse into art world otherworldliness, her text was normally straightforward and brought out element of the paintings that were easily missed at first glance. For instance, the different-sized skyscrapers in the background of "Window Washer" did not just set the stage, but were a wickedly pointed commentary about the virility of the painting's two male protagonists. Mecklenburg also brought out the many levels that Rockwell worked on in his paintings. Paintings like "Back to Civvies," showing a recent veteran of World War II trying on his old high school jacket, were more than just sentimental, showing the return of the boy-become-man. The painting also, in the "boyish" model airplanes on the hero's bureau top, paid homage to the evolution of aircraft during the war.

Skip the tendentious sections at the end of the book, but pay close attention to wonderful expositions of an under-appreciated artist whose work still attracts and inspires.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, December 2, 2010
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
I was expecting this large book to have lots of high quality LARGE reproductions of the art. This book is more about the text than showing the art. Most of the images are pretty small. Debating about returning for a refund.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singing Rockwell's Praise!, December 8, 2010
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
I ordered this book after listening to an interview with the author, Virginia Mecklenberg.I've loved Norman Pockwell's illustrations having grown up with his magazine covers. I found this book to be a stunning collection of some of Rockwell's most evocative and enjoyable work. The information about his art and his creative process as well as the pictures themselves make this a wonderful addition to my library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift, September 22, 2013
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
I love anything with Norman Rockwell/s art, and I was getting this as a gift for someone that likes his work as well as I do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! This is a marvelous book., September 12, 2013
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
I am old enough that I remember Norman Rockwell covers on magazines on the newstands. I loved his pictures.
I have a collection of art books on Norman Rockwell and this one is by far one of the most beautiful and most fun to read and enjoy. The collections of Lucas and Spielberg are an interesting angle and I liked figuring out why they would have bought these particular paintings.
The photos and describtions of Rockwell's artistic process and preparation for the painting was fascinating. I did not expect to get that wonderful information. I thought this was going to be just a collection of the paintings and this book was more than just page after page of images. It was a real art and almost biographical book about Rockwell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell, August 21, 2013
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
What a wonderful book about the life and story behind Norman Rockwell's Artwork and why he created the images for the world to love. The book was in excellent condition and on time. I highly recommend this book!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great BIG book!, January 14, 2013
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
This is a huge cocktail table book. Beautiful art, interesting history for anyone who loves Rockwell and or that period of our American history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, September 8, 2012
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
This is a very useful book if you are looking for good references from Norman Rockwell. The book is also very big and tells interesting stories about the author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like being at the real exhibit, November 11, 2010
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This review is from: Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Hardcover)
I traveled to Washington D.C. recently and saw the exhibit of the Norman Rockwell
collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg at the American Museum of Art.
I enjoyed it very much and purchased the book for my local art guild so I could share what I saw at the exhibit and revisit some my favorite paintings. The book is wonderful. Most of the pictures are large and their colors are great. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes his work whether your an artist or not. The book was as impressive as the exhibit. Large book with a lot of information.
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Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
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