Hollywood Comes to Boca in this Blockbuster Museum of Art Exhibit

Did you know you and your family now have the opportunity to visit the Swiss Alps, ancient Rome and North Dakota…ALL while never having to leave Boca Raton? This “travel” is courtesy of the latest Blockbuster ‘get’ for the Boca Raton Museum of Art following the conclusion of Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru.

Yes, it’s official! Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy. This larger-than-life show is the first dedicated museum exhibition of its kind honoring the unsung heroes of Hollywood’s artistic DNA, going back through time almost 100 years!

Not to mention, it allows creators like me the opportunity to take some really fun Instagram photos…

Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema's Creative Legacy.
Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy.

Hollywood Comes to Boca Raton

The result in the Museum’s galleries is a magical portal that takes the terms “large-scale,” “immersive,” and “virtual reality” to a whole new level. This exhibition of 22 scenic backdrops, made for the movies between 1938 and 1968, celebrates an art form nearly forgotten.

The exhibition is a well-deserved moment in the spotlight for the dozens of unidentified studio artists. Their uncredited craftsmanship made scenes of Mount Rushmore, Ben Hur’s Rome, the Von Trapp Family’s Austrian Alps and Gene Kelly’s Paris street dance possible.

Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema's Creative Legacy.
The iconic backdrop of Mount Rushmore from North by Northwest.
Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema's Creative Legacy.
Ancient Rome as painted for Ben Hur and re-used in Hail! Caesar
An Immersive Show

The show’s immersive components include interactive video reels created in Hollywood specifically for this exhibition, telling the stories behind each backdrop. Soundscapes have been engineered to surround visitors in the museum, including atmospheric sound effects related to the original movies and to the scenic vistas.

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Hollywood comes to Boca Raton with the world premiere of Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema's Creative Legacy.
Film Unknown (22’x 14′), exterior NYC skyline with Brooklyn Bridge, MGM Studios.

Twenty backdrops, including the famous Mount Rushmore, are being loaned by the Texas Performing Arts Hollywood Backdrop Collection at the University of Texas.

In addition, a 1952 backdrop for Singin’ in the Rain and the tapestry backdrop for Marie Antoinette (1938) are on loan from the Motion Picture Academy in Los Angeles.

This scenic backdrop is from the 1959 MGM film North By Northwest. Produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the film starred Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
Instagram vs. the Movie Screen

These creations were painted for the camera lens itself, not for the human eye. It is a very impressionistic style of painting ― not really photo-realism, but it snaps together as photo-realistic when viewed from a distance. Up close they look totally different. When visitors to the Museum take selfies with their phone cameras, the resulting image will look very different from what they see in person in the gallery.

Do I look like a Von Trapp? A special backdrop from The Sound of Music.

One of the most memorable experiences for visitors to the Museum will be the opportunity to see up close the actual brushstrokes and dynamic hand-painted techniques that were used by these artists, to create the necessary effects they developed for the camera lens.

When to Visit

The Museum will present a series of events and educational presentations for the community throughout the run of the exhibition. Learn more about this “Hollywood comes to Boca” special programming at bocamuseum.org/visit/events.

Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy runs through January 22, 2023 at 501 Plaza Real in Boca Raton.