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Lights! Camera! Arkansas!

Arkansas’s rich and varied history in film is the subject of Lights! Camera! Arkansas!, the newest exhibit at the Old State House Museum. The exhibit features the state’s ties to Hollywood, through both movies and television. Lights! Camera! Arkansas! highlights several well-known films with Arkansas connections and includes over 800 artifacts from the Old State House Museum’s permanent collection and objects loaned by other museums, film companies, actors, and writers. The comprehensive exhibit shows artifacts related to films shot on location in the state, actors born in Arkansas, and literary figures whose works were the basis for films shot in Arkansas.

 Lights! Camera! Arkansas! features a stellar list of Arkansas-born actors, authors, directors, and scripts. The exhibit  includes the work of Jeff Nichols, Mary Steenburgen, Harry Thomason, Julie Adams, Lisa Blount, Johnny Cash, Gail Davis, Levon Helm, James Bridges, and Joey Lauren Adams among many others.

 Visitors will see five galleries of costumes, scripts, film footage, awards, photographs, theater posters, props, and more. Documentary videos add to their understanding and appreciation of Arkansas’s role in American film. Visitors will be able to watch the videos in a newly-constructed theater room.

 The Old State House Museum commissioned original paintings of the state’s Hollywood-famous by House-of-Blues artists Patterson and Barnes. These fourteen portraits will portray Broncho Billy Anderson, Dick Powell, Alan Ladd, Gail Davis, Julie Adams, William Warfield, Louis Jordan, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Levon Helm, Mary Steenburgen, Billy Bob Thornton, Lisa Blount, and Jeff Nichols.

About the Curator

Nearly three years of planning, artifact-searching and researching went into the exhibit curated by Robert Cochran. Cochran is the chair of American Studies and director of the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He authored several books published by the University of Arkansas Press including Singing in Zion: Music and Song in the Life of an Arkansas Family (1999); A Photographer of Note: Arkansas Artist Geleve Grice (2003); and Our Own Sweet Sounds: A Celebration of Popular Music in Arkansas (2005).