Art Films at the Library

In partnership with the Fredericksburg Center for Creative Arts and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the CRRL is proud to offer short films exploring artists and the creative process. Films and notes courtesy of The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Wednesdays at 7pm, Headquarters Theater.


Herb & DorothyJANUARY 8

Herb & Dorothy
Award-winning 2009 documentary of a postal clerk and a librarian who managed, on their modest civil-service salaries, to amass one of the most important contemporary art collections in history.


All about Prints: 500 Years of Prints and Printmaking
All About Prints is a thorough look at the Reba and Dave Williams Collection of American Prints acquired by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in early 2009. The film explores the collaborative nature of printmaking, the democratic character of multiples, and the deep-rooted traditions of the art form. These ideas come to life through the exploration of masters of the 19th century like Homer and Whistler; the important contribution of Edward Hopper; the influence of Mexican muralists; the formative years of the Federal Art Project of the WPA; the excitement of the 60's print boom; and the ever-evolving techniques of contemporary artists such as Kiki Smith who carry on the tradition.  2009 (54 min.)  


Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture 

The personal and professional life of Saint-Gaudens is traced from his birth in Dublin to his death in Cornish, New Hampshire. His story is woven through six of his major works of art, which include the Standing Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Chicago; the Shaw Memorial on Boston Common; the Sherman Monument in Central Park; the serenely beautiful Diana in the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Adams Memorial in Washington, DC. 2009 (56 min.)   


Cezanne in Provence   

This film explores the deep connection between post-impressionist master Paul Cézanne — credited by many as the father of modern art — and his native Provence. The film highlights Provençal locations that were pivotal in Cézanne's life, among them his family’s imposing country estate, the Jas de Bouffan, a fundamental presence in his memory and development; as well as the Bibémus quarry, depicted in evocative paintings of great power; and the Atelier des Lauves, the mountaintop studio Cézanne built to afford himself stunning views of his beloved Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which many consider his signature motif. The National Gallery of Art senior curator for European paintings and curator of French paintings provides insights into Cézanne’s work and discusses formative influences. 2006 (57 min.)

MAY 14

The Rising Tide  

China's meteoric march toward the future is examined through the work of some of its most talented emerging artists. In recent years, Chinese artists, especially those working in photography and video, have gained international recognition for their powerful works capturing the social and aesthetic confusion created in a rapidly changing society. To the Chinese avant-garde, materialism is all pervasive, and the dominant consumer culture has altered people's mentalities. Interestingly, their work, influenced by Western ideals and art practice, remains distinctly Chinese in its content and aesthetic. 2008 (93 min.) Audience: Adult (mature content)


 Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

In 1935 Frank Lloyd Wright designed a country house over a small stream in rural Pennsylvania. America’s most famous architect designed Fallingwater for his clients, the Kaufmann family. It instantly became famous, and today it is a National Historic Landmark, under the care of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Lynda Waggoner, Director of Fallingwater, discusses the relationships between the site, the building, the clients, and the architect. 2005 (60 min.) 



Instead of offering an idealized or ennobled vision of humankind, modern art — an instrument of the tumultuous 20th century — communicates chaos, anxiety, and above all, uncertainty. This film contrasts the works of Pablo Picasso with the abstracts of Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian and the architecture of Le Corbusier; tells how the Nazis tried to eradicate modern art's uncertainties with some crushing certainties of their own; and shows how modern art's relationship with modern life changed — first with the rise of Abstract Expressionism, then with Pop art.  2008 (49 min.)


Easter Island

Modern engineers and experts try to determine how the massive moai statues were erected without the aid of modern technology — and why. Learn how this ancient civilization may have carved its way into extinction and uncover the meaning of moai from an archaeological perspective.  From the PBS NOVA “Secrets of Lost Empires” series. (56 min)


Ellsworth Kelly, Fragments

Portrait of Ellsworth Kelly and his work. Ellsworth Kelly is widely regarded as one of the most important abstract painters, sculptors, and printmakers working today. Since the beginning of his career, Kelly's emphasis on pure form and color and his impulse to suppress gesture in favor of spatial unity have played  a pivotal role in the development of abstract art in America. 2007 (65 min.)  


Painters Painting 

Artists included in this candid history of the New York art scene, 1940-1970, are Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Phillip Pavia, and Hans Hoffman. [2009] Originally issued as a motion picture in 1972. (116 min.)   


George Bellows

Arriving in New York in 1904, George Bellows (1882-1925) depicted America on the move. In a twenty-year career cut short by his untimely death at age forty-two, Bellows painted the rapidly growing modern city, its bustling crowds, skyscrapers, and awe-inspiring construction projects, as well as its bruising boxers, street urchins, and New Yorkers both hard at work and enjoying their leisure pastimes. He also captured the rugged beauty of New York's rivers and the grandeur of coastal Maine. This documentary, narrated by Ethan Hawke and produced by the National Gallery of Art,  includes original footage shot in New York City and Maine; images of Bellows' paintings, drawings, and prints; and archival footage and photographs (30 min.)
Mixed Media Masters: Alison Saar, Al Loving, Flo Oy Wong 

Lowery Sims, Curator of the Museum of Art & Design in New York, introduces three remarkable mixed media artists. Mixed media art employs more than one medium, in these instances paint, thread, and metal. Through their work, these artists express their cultural heritage in their own imaginative and innovative style. 2008 (28 min.)  


Ye Gods  

This film considers the debt Western civilization owes to paganism, Christianity, and Islam, showing how each religion has influenced the other and how the art of all three continues to exert an effect on the world. Highlighting the lifelike sculptures of ancient Greece that celebrate what it is to be human; the primitive daubs in Roman catacombs, shimmering Byzantine mosaics, and Renaissance crucifixion scenes; and the dazzling arabesques of Egyptian, Turkish, and Spanish mosques, Matthew Collings points out the common humanity underlying three significantly different worldviews. 2008 (48 min.)