Lashly & Baer attorney, Charles E. Valier,  conceived and directed Governor Bond’s public effort in 1974-1976 to acquire and retain in a single collection the preparatory drawings of George Caleb Bingham for the citizens of Missouri. Charlie has been Chairman of the Bingham Trust since 1983. George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) is known today as one of the classic artists of the early American West. His paintings rank among the nation’s greatest art treasures and are displayed at major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the National Gallery, Washington.  One of the engravings, StumpSpeaking, hangs on the walls of Lashly & Baer.

Through a generous private donation to the Friends of Arrow Rock, Bingham’s home, Wide Awake Films, Kansas City, produced a documentary on the life and times of Bingham, “The American Artist.”  Charlie worked with the director and producer, Shane Seley in developing some of the content, and appears in the film discussing the role of the drawings and Bingham’s foray into politics. After a published paper, and many lectures at major museums in Missouri and the United States by Charlie, during a large Bingham exhibition, the documentary was completed in the summer of 2016.  Part of the filming with Charlie, Governor Bond and Nancy Work, who curated a Bingham exhibition in Missouri in 1975-76, was filmed in the Print Study Room of the Saint Louis Art Museum, displaying many of Bingham’s drawings. Charlie appeared in the final film, explaining how the drawings were used as studies for the artist’s paintings.

Premieres of the documentary took place in the fall of 2016 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and in Arrow Rock. Initially, the producers were unable to convince the Public Broadcasting Company to air the documentary.  Recently, the documentary was aired by a Kansas City affiliate of PBS and nominated for an Emmy Award – “Documentary – Historical.”  At the award ceremony in Kansas City, September 22, it won its category.

The news release from Wide Awake Films reads:  “The American Artist was produced by Shane Seley, who accepted the award on behalf of the production along with Ed Leydecker, Amanda Curtis-Lillig, Steve Byers and Charles Valier.” To read more about The American ArtistCLICK HERE.

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