Most helpful positive review
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2010
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.