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Reel Women: Icons and Identity in Film

April 20 through July 18
During the Golden Age of Hollywood, between 1930 and 1960, movie studios commissioned highly artistic and glamorous photographs of movie stars to promote the actors and their studios. Since that time, the popularity of celebrity portraits has endured as part of our entertainment culture. This exhibition features 14 professional photographs of famous women from the collection of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, including stars such as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and others. 

The images underscore the tension between personal identity and the self as public icon. Once under the control of the studios that managed their personas, over time, these actresses started to take charge of their images and blaze their own trails to success through strength, perseverance, and talent. They therefore helped to pave the way for increased diversity in the entertainment field.

Bentonville Film Festival

Learn more about the Bentonville Film Festival, May 3 to 8.

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Nickolas Muray, Marilyn Monroe with bowl of fruit, 1952, Dye imbibition print, 14 x 11 1/16 in. (35.5 x 28.1 cm), George Eastman Museum, gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray
Chim (David Seymour), Audrey Hepburn in ballet position, rehearsing for the film “Funny Face,” 1956 Gelatin silver print, 9 13/16 x 6 11/16 in. (25 x 17 cm), George Eastman Museum, gift of Ben Shneiderman