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Hollywood Stills

March 27 @ 5:00 pm - June 7 @ 4:00 pm

Photographs from The Butler Institute of American Art

Please Note: Our galleries are temporarily closed in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. This exhibition will be on-view exclusively online until we are able to re-open, with new selections uploaded each week. Thank you for your understanding and support. Online gallery may take a few moments to load.

 

Hollywood Stills – Virtual Gallery
Hollywood Stills – Virtual Gallery
Clark Gable and Norma Shearer, Idiot’s Delight (1939), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Directed by Clarence Brown
Clark Gable and Norma Shearer, Idiot’s Delight (1939), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Directed by Clarence Brown
Clark Gable (1901-1960) and Norma Shearer (1902-1983) were two of MGM’s biggest stars. They were paired in this film adaptation of Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize winning play. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda (1909-1955) was born in Portugal and raised in Brazil, where she began to make films. In 1939 she came to the United States, and in 1940 she signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox. She made several popular musicals with Betty Grable and Don Ameche. Her trademark was her tall fruit hat. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Cary Grant and Carole Lombard,  In Name Only (1939), RKO Radio Pictures, Directed by John Cromwell
Cary Grant and Carole Lombard, In Name Only (1939), RKO Radio Pictures, Directed by John Cromwell
Cary Grant (1904-1986) originally expected to make this film with Katharine Hepburn, his co-star in Bringing Up Baby (1938), but she was replaced by Carole Lombard (1908-1942) who had been nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award in 1936. Lombard, at the height of her career, would make only four more films after In Name Only due to her death in a plane crash in 1942. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Rita Hayworth, Cover Girl (1944), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Charles Vidor
Rita Hayworth, Cover Girl (1944), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Charles Vidor
Known as the Love Goddess, Hayworth was among the most glamorous stars in Hollywood history. She was an excellent dancer and appeared in many musicals, such as Cover Girl with Gene Kelly, but she could also perform in dramatic films, such as Lady from Shanghai (1947), written and directed by Orson Welles, her husband at the time. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Alfred Hitchcock, Rebecca (1940), Selznick International Pictures, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock, Rebecca (1940), Selznick International Pictures, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Producer David Selznick brought Britain’s leading director Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), to America to direct the film version of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca. Hitchcock is shown on the set while filming the adaptation. Rebecca won the 1940 Oscar for Best Picture, and Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Louise Beavers and Michael O’Shea, Jack London (1943), Samuel Bronston Productions, Directed by Alfred Santell
Louise Beavers and Michael O’Shea, Jack London (1943), Samuel Bronston Productions, Directed by Alfred Santell
Louise Beavers (1902-1962) made over 150 films from the early 1920s to the early 1960s. After 1950 she worked regularly in television. Like most African-American performers in the studio era, she was usually assigned to play subservient characters such as maids or housekeepers that wasted her considerable talent. She gave a memorable performance in Imitation of Life (1934). Michael O’Shea (1906-1973) worked in film in the 1940s and 1950s. He met his future wife, actress Virginia Mayo, while filming Jack London. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, Suspicion (1941), RKO Radio Pictures, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, Suspicion (1941), RKO Radio Pictures, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
This was the first of four films Cary Grant (1904-1986) would do for Alfred Hitchcock. The others, all classics, were Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959). Grant was equally skilled at screwball comedy or Hitchcockian drama. Joan Fontaine (1917-2013) earned a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Suspicion. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and for Franz Waxman’s Musical Score. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Henry Fonda, The Grapes of Wrath
Henry Fonda, The Grapes of Wrath
On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Paulette Goddard and Bob Hope, The Cat and the Canary, (1939), Paramount Pictures, Directed by Elliott Nugent
Paulette Goddard and Bob Hope, The Cat and the Canary, (1939), Paramount Pictures, Directed by Elliott Nugent
Paulette Goddard (1910-1990) was one of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars. She came to film from the Ziegfeld Follies. The Cat and the Canary was a breakthrough film for her and set her on a path to stardom. Bob Hope (1903-2003) was already well known when he made this film, but his humorous performance confirmed his stature as a major star. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Frank Capra
Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Frank Capra
Though Cooper (1901-1961) often played the strong, silent type in his westerns, he was equally good at comedy. His performance as Longfellow Deeds earned him his first Academy Award nomination. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Sound Recording. Frank Capra won the Oscar for Best Director. Jean Arthur (1900-1991) appeared in two other Capra films as well as several screwball comedies. Her final film was Shane (1953). On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Joan Crawford, The Women (1939), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Directed by George Cukor
Joan Crawford, The Women (1939), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Directed by George Cukor
Joan Crawford (1904-1977) was one of MGM’s biggest stars in the 1930s, but when the studio stopped assigning her to top projects, she moved to Warner Bros. and made some of her best films. She won the Best Actress Oscar for Mildred Pierce (1945) and was nominated twice more for Possessed (1947) and Sudden Fear (1952). On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Clara Bow, Wings (1927), Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, Directed by William Wellman
Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Clara Bow, Wings (1927), Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation, Directed by William Wellman
Clara Bow (1905-1965) made over fifty films between 1922 and 1933. Charles “Buddy” Rogers (1904-1999) made films from the 1920s to the 1940s. He married Mary Pickford in 1937. Wings was the first great flying film. The director, William “Wild Bill” Wellman had been an aviator with the Lafayette Escadrille in World War I. His experience assured a degree of authenticity in the film. Wings was the first film to win the Best Picture award from the newly formed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Gene Kelly, Cover Girl (1944), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Charles Vidor
Gene Kelly, Cover Girl (1944), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Charles Vidor
Gene Kelly (1912-1996) came to Hollywood in 1941 from his starring role in the Broadway production of Pal Joey. He was signed by MGM, which loaned him to Columbia, where he made Cover Girl with Rita Hayworth. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are the most famous male dancers in Hollywood history. Astaire was debonair, dancing in top hat and tails with a graceful style. Kelly was a more muscular, athletic dancer who wore casual clothes. Kelly was nominated for Best Actor for Anchors Away (1945) and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1951. On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
James Stewart and Jean Arthur,  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Frank Capra
James Stewart and Jean Arthur, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Columbia Pictures, Directed by Frank Capra
This film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning one for Original Story. Frank Capra, who had won 3 Best Director Oscars in the last five years, received a nomination, and James Stewart got the first of his five Best Actor nominations. He would win in 1940 for The Philadelphia Story, and he received an Honorary Academy Award in 1985. Jean Arthur, who was Columbia’s top female star, had made two earlier films directed by Frank Capra: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can’t Take It with You (1938). On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Walter Huston and Edward Arnold, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), William Dieterle Productions, Directed by William Dieterle
Walter Huston and Edward Arnold, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), William Dieterle Productions, Directed by William Dieterle
Walter Huston (1883-1950) and Edward Arnold (1890-1956) star in this comedy/drama. Walter Huston had a film career that lasted from 1929 to 1950. He was nominated twice for Best Actor and twice for Best Supporting Actor, finally winning his Supporting Actor Oscar for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), written and directed by his son John Huston (who collected the Best Director and Best Screenplay Academy Awards for the film). On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio.
Thank You – Please Donate to Support More Great Exhibitions Like This One
Thank You – Please Donate to Support More Great Exhibitions Like This One

 

ABOUT THIS EXHIBITION

From the very inception of the motion picture industry, still images have accompanied the release and marketing of feature films, drawing-in customers to the local “movie houses” with their evocative images and studies of the stars. From the late silent film era to more modern times, artful and dramatically composed photographs were used to capture the essence of the features they highlighted. Displayed in glass cases outside the theaters, these pictures were sometimes used in local print advertising, as well as accompanying spicy stories in magazines like Photoplay and Modern Screen.

Many of the artists were the movies’ own camera operators and crew members, excellent still photographers who augmented their roles as on-set documentarians. Not only were specific moments from the actual films captured, but also “behind the scenes” images of the cast, crew, and set.

This fascinating exhibition contains 200 of the best examples of these cinematic advertising images. Although these photographs were specifically created for promotional purposes, they display a fine art sensibility, demonstrating expert technical knowledge and often a keen sense of drama and composition. Many of the photographs in this collection were produced anonymously, but others represent the work of more eminent Hollywood photographers such as Edward Steichen, George Hurrell, and Robert Coburn.

Some of Hollywood’s most memorable movies are encapsulated in the dramatic impressions these photographs convey. The stunning exhibition is made possible by the Butler Institute of American Art, through a generous gift from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. George Kelley.

Exhibition Details:

Hollywood Stills: Photographs from the Butler Institute of American Art

On view March 27 – June 7, 2020

Online only

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Top Image: Hollywood Cavalcade, Photograph, Alice Faye, Stuart Erwin, and Don Ameche

Details

Start:
March 27 @ 5:00 pm
End:
June 7 @ 4:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

FL United States