Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present an film series in March and April in conjunction with the exhibition “Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy.”
The exhibition reunites most of the works of art from a failed U.S. State Department program of cultural diplomacy dating from the mid-1940s. Originally organized to demonstrate the freedom of expression enjoyed by artists in a democracy, the project was criticized as un-American and subversive and the paintings sold at auction.
Each of the four films either dates from or is set during the timeframe of the exhibition. The films address the global rise of communism and its effect on politics and art. All of the films will screen in the museum’s M. Smith Griffith Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights and are free and open to the public.
“Notorious” (1946) will show March 20. The classic Alfred Hitchcock film is both a spy thriller and a love story. This World War II drama stars Ingrid Bergman as the American daughter of a Nazi spy and Cary Grant as a U.S. agent who hires her for an undercover mission.
“Ninotchka” (1939), directed by Ernst Lubitsch, will screen March 27. This comedy starring Greta Garbo looks at the clashing ideologies of communism and capitalism through a humorous lens. Garbo plays a serious Russian who is transformed into an affectionate woman through Parisian decadence and romance.
“The Stranger” (1946) will show April 3. Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young star in this tale of an escaped Nazi war criminal posing as a college professor in a small town and the United Nations War Crimes Commissioner fixated on bringing him to justice.
“Cradle Will Rock” (1999) will screen April 10. A fictionalized tale based on real events that took place in 1930s New York, the film follows the story of Orson Welles as he tries to stage a leftist musical about a steel strike under the Federal Theater Program and the consequences that ensue.
Films at the museum are sponsored by the UGA Parents & Families Association. The exhibition, accompanying catalogue, educational programs and national tour of “Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy” are made possible by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602- 6719. For more information, including hours, see http://georgiamuseum.org or call 706-542-4662.