A new film starring Julie Harris premiered last evening at the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. The subject -- the National Gallery of Art.
Four hundred guests attended the screening of the half-hour "Adventures in Art: With Julie Harris," produced by WETA and based on the book "Adventures in Art" by Marian King. It features Julie Harris guiding the audience through some of the art treasures of the National Gallery.
Harris, a resident of Arlington, says that she's a "frequent visitor" to the gallery and she glides through DaVinci to Miro in the program with elegant ease.
The film, which will air nationally on public television on April 30, will also be distributed by the National Gallery museum's extension service across the country.
"We're just delighted with the production," said Paul Mellon, a major donor to the gallery and chairman of the board of trustees, who also thinks the film would bring the museum to life for "those who think our marble halls too snobbish and works of art too highbrow."
National Gallery Director J. Carter Brown was impressed by "how well the Old Masters lend themselves to enlargement on the big screen" and was delighted to add the film to our offerings for the extension program -- it's a way to serve our national responsibilities."
Major funding for the program was provided by the National Home Library Foundation. WETA President Ward Chamberlin said his next task was finding money to fund a film on the "American Light" luminist show currently at the National Gallery. "I need $300,000 to do it," said Chamberlin, "but I'll get it."