The Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge, MA



Drew--Art of the Cinema


Drew--Art of the Cinema, showcasing the work of Drew Struzan, one of the most prolific Hollywood illustrators working today, opened at the Norman Rockwell Museum on June 11, 1999, and runs through October 31, 1999. Included in the exhibition is Drew's painting for the long-awaited, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In celebration of the artist's achievements, Drew--Art of the Cinema, has been planned in conjunction with the opening of the first of the Star Wars prequels.

Drew's memorable renderings of the heroes of the silver screen chronicle over two decades of American movie making and include over 150 paintings for contemporary cinema posters. He has created original advertising and poster art for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. His poster illustrations include art for such box office hits as: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, the Indiana Jones and Star Wars trilogies, and many more. Drew's distinctive illustrations have attracted children of all ages to films including An American Tail, Beauty and the Beast, The Lost World and The Muppet Movie. Despite this universal recognition of his work, the artist himself is almost unknown outside of Hollywood and Asia.

Drew--Art of the Cinema marks the first time Drew's original art will be shown as a single collection with 51 finished paintings and 15 preparatory studies representing about 40 popular films. The finished paintings are in acrylic on board and colored pencil. Also included are some black and white studies on paper.

The works in the exhibition, which span the years 1979-1999, are a mixture of fantasy, romance, tragedy, comedy and adventure and serve as an historic commentary on America's popular culture during those two decades. Curated and assembled by Judy Goffman Cutler, Executive Director, American Illustrators Gallery, New York City, the exhibition is organized and produced by ARTShows and Products Corp.

From Kermit the Frog to Indiana Jones, Drew Struzan's extraordinary body of work includes some of the most important images of contemporary popular culture. His work has drawn praise from artists impressed by his skills as a draftsman and Hollywood producers for his ability to create images with immense commercial appeal.


The Art of Movie Poster Illustration

With neither sound nor movement, a movie poster must somehow communicate the spirit of a story. In a single frame, it must attract a viewer's attention, impart key information about a complex film, and distinguish itself from the riot of similar advertising flooding the marketplace. Though they blossom briefly and are quickly gone, movie posters become powerful visual emblems for the films they represent. As with our most enduring films, the best examples of movie posters are remembered for their artistry and the enjoyment that they bring.

Drew Struzan's masterful renderings of the heroes of the silver screen chronicle over two decades of American movie-making and are the cinema art of choice for directors Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas. Drew's imagery for over 150 popular and ground-breaking films has defined the look of the contemporary motion-picture poster. With a distinctive blend of realism, style, and heart, his paintings for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Hook, The Flintstones, An American Tail, The Great Muppet Caper and Star Wars, the Back to the Future and Indiana Jones trilogies have played an important role in the life of each film. Essential artifacts, they remain with us long after the movies have ended and the theater lights have come up.

Drew--Art of the Cinema features preparatory art which highlights the process of creating movie posters. More than 15 original sketches and color studies trace how a movie poster is conceived and crafted from Drew's original concept to a finished illustration. Drew Struzan's preparatory studies offer visitors a deeper understanding of the complexities inherent in the artist's work and underscore the pervasive influence of his movie art.


Drew Struzan -The Illustrator

A child prodigy who could draw almost before he could talk, Drew Struzan's artistic future seemed indelibly chartered at a very early age. His parents realized that their talented son was not like other children and sought explanations from Stanford University experts who studied his pictures. Naturally gifted with the desire of an overachiever, Drew entered the Art Center College of Design in West Los Angeles, California, in the late 1960s. While studying classical drawing and painting, he worked his way through school by selling his artwork and accepting small commissions.

After college, Drew remained in Los Angeles, the heart of the entertainment business, where his early professional assignments came largely from record industry clients. He created dozens of album covers for country, rock and classical music, depicting acts as diverse as Liberace, Alice Cooper and Tony Orlando and Dawn. Widely seen, the covers showcased Drew's abilities as a portraitist and attracted movie industry attention. For eight years, Drew and a friend worked together to develop film-poster advertising. His big break came in 1977 with a call from a fellow Art Center graduate. A master of the airbrush, Charles White III had been commissioned by George Lucas to render a poster for the re-release of Star Wars and requested Drew's help with character portraits. The inspired solution resulted in one of the most popular Star Wars poster designs of all time. Over twenty years later, Drew's most recent work of art for the movies announces the release of another Lucas film, Star Wars. Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

A sensitive man with a keen insight into human nature, Drew is known today as one of the most recognized and sought-after artists in the motion picture industry. A master of the hand-rendered movie poster, he has documented the cinematic icons of our day and preserved them for future generations.

Drew Struzan lives and works in California with his wife Dylan. Their son, Christian, is continuing the family tradition as an art director and illustrator.

Images from top to bottom: Batteries Not Included, © Universal City Studios, Inc. 1987; The Flintstones, © 1993 Universal City Studios, Inc.; Star Trek/Captain Kirk, © Paramount Studios Corp. 1991; Beauty and the Beast, © 1991 The Walt Disney Company; An American Tale, © Universal City Studios 1986; The Muppet Movie, © AFD 1979; Hook, © Cony/Tri Star 1992; Cutthroat Island, © MGM / Carolco 1996

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