Night Gallery Paintings Will Soon Be Showcased in a Special “Art Gallery” Book
Even if you’re not a big fan of “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery”, you have to admit: The gallery concept was pretty cool.
Watching our host walk among these bizarre canvases and shadowed sculptures as he introduces each story is a great framing device. It’s enough to make you wish there really was such a place.
There isn’t, of course, but I’m happy to tell you that we’ll soon be able to enjoy the next best thing: a glossy, hard-cover volume with high-quality reproductions of every painting that appeared on the show (and even a few that didn’t).
Titled “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery — The Art of Darkness”, it’s coming to us from Scott Skelton and Jim Benson, the same duo who over 20 years ago brought us the definitive behind-the-scenes book on the series, “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour“. Every work that artists Tom Wright and Jeroslav Gebr created is included.
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s nice, but you can look up any of the paintings online in a few seconds. Why get this book?” Fair enough. For me, the idea of seeing top-notch versions of these paintings is enough. But it’s more than that. Here’s what Scott posted on the book’s official Facebook page on May 20:
Assembling this epic tome took us on a long and daunting expedition around the globe to locate and professionally photograph as many of the existing paintings as could be unearthed. At present, only two original paintings remain in NBC/Universal Studios’ first-rate archives while the remaining 100 were borrowed, rented, stolen, or otherwise relocated. Thus began our epic archeological dig to unearth the rest, a tall order, even in the age of the internet.
The nearly 300-page book is brimming with hundreds of rare, behind-the-scenes photos and artwork. It documents each of the paintings, and traces the complicated (and often twisted) tale of how these iconic masterpieces slowly disappeared from view — only to find their way back, lovingly displayed in two gallery exhibits for appreciative connoisseurs 50 years later.
That’s pure catnip to me. If I’m a fan of something, I often want to know all about it. I’m a complete sucker for pics and stories detailing how my favorite shows and movies came to life, so reading this description put a huge grin on my face.
Mind you, I’ve known about the book for a while now. In fact, if you read the post I put up after last October’s “Serling Fest”, you have too. I had the opportunity to appear with Scott Skelton there and introduce a 50th anniversary showing of the Night Gallery pilot movie. At that time, the “Art of Darkness” book was set to be released only a month later.
At the last minute, though, Scott and Jim uncovered additional material that promised to make the book even better, so publication was delayed. It was disappointing, of course, but it looks as if our patience is going to be rewarded.
Ah, but when? According to the May 20 announcement:
Your number-one question is, undoubtedly, “When will the book be released?” At the moment, the book is one week away from the licensing department at NBC/Universal for final review. Following that, it travels to our printer in Asia for three months of proofing, printing, and binding, followed by a month’s sea voyage back to the docks of Long Beach, and finally to our warehouse in Sierra Madre. With luck and good fortune, the long wait will be over as quick as you can say “trick ‘r treat.”
So it sounds as if we’re headed for a Halloween release. How perfect would that be?
Until then, if this book sounds as appealing to you as it does to me, check out its official Facebook page. Scott and Jim will be sharing updates as their special project moves closer to completion. I’ll be passing along any important details too, of course, as well as continuing to blog about the series.
In one of his introductions, Serling welcomed viewers to “a collection of art not found in your average museum”. It stands to reason that it deserves an above-average gallery. “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery — The Art of Darkness” sounds like it’s just the ticket.
For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post.
Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!