“The American Artist” is a biographical docu-drama about George Caleb Bingham. His childhood was spent in the American frontier along the Missouri River. A self-taught painter, his natural talent, relentless ambition, and strategic friendships propelled him into the world of politics. He was a successful artist, politician, and family man … but it all fell apart. His home, family, career, and life’s work were all but lost as the American Civil War split his world in two. A century after his death, George Caleb Bingham’s work was not only rediscovered, it is celebrated as a National Treasure. His paintings, his politics, his life are a testament to his perseverance, ingenuity, and unwavering determination. An America, long since forgotten, is preserved through his life’s work. Produced by the Emmy Award-winning documentary team at Wide Awake Films in partnership with the Friends of Arrow Rock (Bingham’s hometown in Missouri), this hour long documentary narrated by Emmy nominated actor, Keith David, and with music from Grammy award winning cellist, Yo Yo Ma, takes the viewer an hour-long journey unveiling Bingham’s life with edge-of-your-seat dramatic craftsmanship, combined with interviews from some of the top American art curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It also examines many of his best paintings all lovingly filmed from original canvases in 4K ultra-high-definition. Three years in the making, The American Artist argues the case for Bingham as one of the pre-eminent American painters of his - or any - generation, right up with the likes of Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell and Thomas Hart Benton.
2016, color, 58 minutes