“Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: The Art of Darkness” Now Available to Order
“These aren’t your ordinary canvases. You don’t find Monet in a mausoleum or van Gogh in a graveyard.” — Rod Serling, introducing an episode of Night Gallery
There’s some serious Serling understatement. The paintings shown before each story on Night Gallery were anything but ordinary. This was no school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, believe me.
Even when the segment was so-so, the canvases were cool. What a treat it would’ve been to take a personal tour, the way our self-described “little ol’ curator” did each week.
That isn’t possible, unfortunately, but you can enjoy the next best thing by getting a copy of the forthcoming book I described in a post last May: “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: The Art of Darkness”.
I wish I could say this was something you can order for $30 or so on Amazon. I can’t. It’s a bit pricier than that. I’ll tell you that right up front. But considering the incredible amount of work that went into it, as the authors painstakingly tracked down the many paintings that had been lost, to photograph and reproduce them in the highest-quality detail imaginable, it’s hard to deny that the higher cost is justified.
As co-author Scott Skelton put in on the book’s official Facebook page:
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.
I know I’m speaking as a mega-fan, but that sounds fantastic to me. So when I saw that the cheapest edition via their Kickstarter campaign was $75, well, it made sense. This isn’t something that was thrown together and is easily mass-produced. It’s a one-of-a-kind item that will bring the show to life in a unique way.
I got a sense of just how unique when Scott and publisher Taylor White did a segment for Serling Fest 2020. You can watch it yourself by going to the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation‘s Facebook page. There the video for the entire, eight-hour August 15th Fest is archived. Cue it to the 5-hour and 10-minute mark, and you can watch Scott and Taylor talk about the book.
Even through the shaky optics of a Zoom video, I could see a new level of detail in paintings I’ve been looking at for years. The colors and the brushstrokes looked particularly vibrant, making it easier to appreciate the talented work of artist Tom Wright.
I’m sure the book will spark new posts from me, inspiring closer looks at these canvases. But there’s no substitute for getting a copy of your own. One way or the other, you can expect some spooky fun in the months ahead, as we explore … the Night Gallery.
To view the Kickstarter campaign for “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: The Art of Darkness” and order your own edition, click here. To order the definitive book about the series, “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour” (for only about $26 US!), click here. To read a spoiler-free list of my favorite episodes, click here.
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Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!