By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
Trailers may get all the attention these days, but the movie poster remains a film’s definitive still-life, its at-a-glance close-up — an art form unto itself.
And this month, the Norton Museum of Art is giving the often overlooked art form an exhibition unto itself.
Opening July 12, “Coming Soon: Film Posters From the Dwight M. Cleveland Collection” is the largest-ever museum exhibition of classic movie posters from one of the most prominent private collections in the world.
“This exhibition is a landmark event for the art form, which has not been granted the respect of a stand-alone show,” says Cleveland, a Chicago-based collector. “Film posters have always been mixed with costumes, scripts, props and other ephemera in previous exhibitions about movies.”
The show’s 200-plus posters, curated from the more than 3,000 in the collection, include comedies, musicals, Westerns, sci-fi thrillers and dramas from the turn of the 20th century to the late 1980s, representing a comprehensive history of movie posters, as well as the allure of Hollywood itself.
For a global perspective, “Coming Soon” also includes posters from around the world that have interpreted American movies, opening a window on how other cultures view the United States.
“Most film buffs think all the art is on the screen,” Cleveland says, “but I believe the best posters can represent the soul of the movie itself — and communicate volumes about the essence of the film.”
The exhibition will be on view until Oct. 29 at the recently renovated museum, 1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. For more info, visit norton.org