Wide Awake Films is honored to be working with the Friends of Arrow Rock in developing a script for a forthcoming documentary on the life of Missouri painter George Caleb Bingham(1811-1879). An important pioneer of Western art and Luminist painting, Bingham is thought by many to be the first regional Missouri artist, and one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century.
As filmmakers with a long track record of producing historical documentaries, we jumped at the opportunity to shed some light on an artist so closely tied to Missouri, especially one with roots near our home. Bingham was one of the many notable residents of Arrow Rock, MO, located just a few short hours away from Kansas City, and home to the state’s first recognized historic site. While living in Arrow Rock, Bingham created his most iconic works. The George Caleb Bingham House, built in 1837, still stands in the historic village and has its own separate designation as a National Historic Landmark.
As excited as we are to bring the history of George Caleb Bingham to others, we were equally thrilled to get to spend a day touring this historic frontier town, preserved in toto as a National Historic Landmark. Nestled near the bank of the Missouri River, and the edge of the Arrow Rock State Park, Arrow Rock retains much of its original 19th century character and charm. It is commonly regarded as the birthplace of historic preservation in Missouri, so it’s near and dear to our hearts here at Wide Awake Films.
As filmmakers and historians, it’s our goal to make history come alive for our viewers, and it’s a rare pleasure to work in a place where history seems as close to the surface as it does in Arrow Rock.