The Paintings of the Night Gallery

by Annie OwensPosted on

“The House”, Tom Wright

“Good evening, art lovers. For your enjoyment and edification…” begins Rod Serling’s introduction to “House With Ghost”, a season 2 episode of Night Gallery. The 1970s horror fiction TV show, which ran from 1970 to 1973, featured among other stories were adaptations by classic horror fiction authors like Lovecraft, August Derleth and Algnernon Blackwood.

Anyone familiar with the show will remember best the shiver inducing, dissonant opening score by Gil Mellé and, of course, the paintings that kicked off each of the series episodes. A different painting for each episode bore the distinct mark of one artist, Tom Wright, and still induces an unsettling chill even after all these years. Whether it’s in the paint, the application, or the little nuances, the delicious horror that they evoke is hard to pin down part of why they are so loved.

“Night Gallery” TV Intro

While Wright is the artist of the paintings for the series, Jaroslav Gebr painted the canvases for the pilot episode. Not to be confused with the paintings of the sister show, The Sixth Sense, which Gebr did paint. Some of those episodes later made it into Night Gallery’s syndication package.

“Whisper”, Tom Wright

After their initial use, Wright’s paintings, which were first done as oils on canvas then later acrylic on masonite, were utilized as simple props by the studio or simply discarded, but are now considered rare works of art. The surviving few that were not altered for use in other TV shows were sold off by Universal, and are now in the hands of private collectors- director Guillermo Del Toro is rumored to be among those.

In 1972, Universal released a series of twelve Night Gallery posters which are long out of print but occasionally pop up at auction or eBay. Tom Wright went on as a director of a long list of TV shows including The X-Files, The Wire and NCIS.

“Green Fingers”, Tom Wright

“Room for One Less”, Tom Wright

“The Merciful”, Tom Wright

“Spectre in Tap Shoes”, Tom Wright

“MakeMeLaugh”, Tom Wright

“House with Ghost”, Tom Wright

“Funeral”, Tom Wright

“Eyes”, Jaroslav Gebr (from the pilot episode)

“A Death in the Family”, Tom Wright

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