In a recent post, I wrote about Thomas Hart Benton’s Spring on the Missouri (1945) and the painting’s original owner Harpo Marx. Harpo was one of several Hollywood stars interested in work by living American artists. Gene Kelly, Burgess Meredith, Henry Fonda, Vincent Price, and Paul Newman all collected American art and lent paintings to exhibitions. So, I began to wonder: what other Hollywood connections do we have in our American galleries at the NCMA?
My search first took me to Citizen Kane (1941)—“the greatest movie of all time” according to the American Film Institute. Directed by and starring Orson Welles, the film follows a group of reporters as they try to discover the meaning of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane’s dying word: Rosebud.