Who remembers the old series “The Night Gallery,” hosted by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame? In the beginning of each show, Serling did some opening intro dialogue in an art gallery setting setting. He’d unveil a macabre looking painting, that depicted the show’s storyline. You can see this show in reruns on the MEtv channel, which shows older TV programming. I was no more than five years old when the show aired and nine went it went off the air in 1973. I was not yet a painter but I was an artist on the inside and for that reason, the show’s painting gimmick hooked me.
Thomas J. Wright, who went on to direct The X-Files, was an artist for the show. Jaroslav “Jerry” Gebr did some paintings too. He started doing oils for the show’s pilot and went on to do acrylics. Steven Spielberg himself made his directorial debut on Night Gallery.
Actors and actresses of the era like Adam West, Joan Crawford, Roddy McDowell, Cloris Leachman, Mickey Rooney and Vincent Price acted on the show. The plots seem a bit silly now of course, and predictable but I can’t help but wonder, What became of those paintings?
Well I recently tried to find out and had tons of fun perusing these paintings online. Most originals are in the hands of private owners, having been auctioned off long long ago. Universal Studios released a series of twelve art-print posters of some of the Gallery paintings in 1972. They’ve got to be out there somewhere. Apparently many originals were ‘revamped’ and used in other programming. How, I wonder? As paintings on the wall of a living room set for a crime drama’s interior scene? Who knows or really will know… I’ve learned that there are reproductions everywhere (E Bay, etc.) as well as folks trying to pass off their shams as the real thing, so buyer beware. There are also sites who offer one of a kind reproductions of the series’ paintings, for a fair price. I am inspired to do a few myself…But which one? I rather like this one; now that is raven ambition. I see it in her eyes: