1990 David Beck Born: Muncie, Indiana 1953 mixed media construction 84 x 40 x 22 in. (213.4 x 101.6 x 55.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Ken and Judy Siebel and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 2000.27 Not currently on view
Hear more about
Luce Center Label
Movie Palace is an elaborate kinetic sculpture that combines Hollywood escapism with the innocent pleasures of windup toys. Beck remembers moviegoing as a social experience that is disappearing from American culture today. Crafting this lost world in miniature creates the kind of magic that films once had, when they transported audiences to distant lands and improbable adventures. The building combines the Renaissance, Moorish, and Egyptian styles that movie houses shamelessly borrowed in the good old days. Reliefs on the outside of the dome represent film noir, Westerns, musicals and other genres from Hollywood's golden age. Inside, animated figures talk and eat popcorn while King Kong swats at biplanes from the mast of the Empire State Building. The fantasy world of film may no longer be what it was, but Beck's Movie Palace reminds us of the pleasures of pretending.
Architecture Exterior - civic - theater
sculpture - assemblage
About David Beck
Born: Muncie, Indiana 1953
More works in the collection by
Blogs, Podcasts, and More
- Eye Level: Where Culture Meets Caffeine: Beck's Movie ...
- Eye Level: Bill Viola: Life, Death, and Everything in Between
- Eye Level: Steven Spielberg on Norman Rockwell and the ...
- Eye Level: Picture This: David Beck
- Eye Level: Frank Gohlke's World in Black and White (and ...
- Eye Level: Olympian
- Eye Level: Luce Unplugged: Improvised Compositions
- Eye Level: Gone in a Flash: Irving Penn Closes March 20
- Eye Level: Picture This: The Kogod Courtyard over Time
- Eye Level: Five Questions with Thomas Lovejoy