The Oscars are happening tonight! Which one of the nine nominated films will take home the coveted Best Picture award? We can only guess, but to join in the fun, we’ve paired an artwork from the Crystal Bridges permanent collection with each of the Best Picture nominees.
Update: Congratulations to Parasite for being the first foreign film to win Best Picture!
President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to alleviate the financial and psychological devastation of the Great Depression by providing work for three million Americans through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), founded in 1935. In addition to employing white-collar professionals and manual laborers, the WPA offered work to musicians, actors, writers, and artists under a subdivision of the WPA called the Federal Art Project (FAP). We Have a Claim is one of 23 original lithographs that Ida Abelman created for the Federal Art Project.
This work reminded me of Shelby working on the cars to make them faster and lighter.
“I heard you paint houses.” Not only is this a significant quote from the film, but it’s also part of the title of the book the movie is based on.
Hans Hofmann was a German-born American painter whose art (and personality) was directly affected by World War II. According to his website, gasoline rationing due to the war restricted Hofmann’s ability to paint landscapes other than those near his home. Without the use of his car to travel, he aggravated his hernia from lugging heavy supplies, and describes the gas restrictions as a “terrible handicap” to his work. It is still unclear of all the ways in which World War II affected those who lived through it.
Snyder’s work, somewhat surreal, is bright and dreamy and often reflects on modern culture. This clown, set against a black backdrop, feels a bit melancholy and mischevious.
One of the main characters, Jo March, spends a lot of time reading (much like the young subject of this painting) and wants to become a writer.
This painting, one of Warhol’s earliest, features a couple turned away from each lying in bed. There’s something about this scene that harkens the feeling of Marriage Story, a film which follows a married couple going through a divorce.
Evening Star No. II is dated as being painted by O’Keeffe in 1917, the same year as this film takes place. It’s comforting to know that even in the midst of war, art is still created.
Roman Polanski, who appears briefly in Once Upon A Time…, was once interviewed by Andy Warhol for Interview magazine. Warhol’s interest in celebrity and Hollywood has been a central aspect of his work, including in his portrait of Dolly Parton.
The plot of Parasite centers around greed and the consequences of it. Currency was a popular subject of tromp l’oeil (“to fool the eye”) paintings because it lent itself to fooling the viewer. John Haberle rendered bills and coins so convincingly, the United States Secret Service suspected him of counterfeiting money and ordered him to stop producing these paintings.