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Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy

Boca Raton Museum of Art / Boca Raton / Art

That glorious Austrian field that Julie Andrews twirls in during The Sound of Music? The one with the majestic snow-capped Alps in the distance? Not real. So many of the stunning landscapes in Hollywood movies, from Singin’ in the Rain to Cleopatra, are actually huge painted canvases. In Boca Raton, the first museum show dedicated to film backdrops presents 22 of these works, the oldest dating back to 1938. Because the dozens of studio artists who created such grand canvases were never appropriately recognized, most are uncredited. The exhibition builds context for the paintings with clips and soundscapes from the movies. Included is “the grandaddy,” says one of the show’s curators, “the Babe Ruth of all Hollywood backdrops”—Mount Rushmore from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller, North By Northwest. —J.D.

Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema's Creative Legacy was featured in the April 30, 2022 issue of Air Mail. Read on

Boca Raton Museum of Art 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
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