December 1, 2005 –
Morgantown, W.Va. – The public is invited to the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy’s holiday open house — and unveiling of Spider Man 2 movie set panels — at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15.
The panels, donated by Columbia Pictures to the NRCCE, depict West Virginia’s energy industries. The artwork was copied from the original 1940s mural by Robert Lepper that is hanging in WVU’s White Hall.
The work is considered one of the most important examples of Machine Age Art in America.
A replica of the mural was painted onto eight separate pieces of canvas and afixed to a wall of a bank in the latest Spider Man movie. It can be seen during a clip in which Peter Parker and Aunt May go to the bank. It also serves as the background for a fight between Spider Man and Dr. Octavius.
WVU officials commissioned Lepper to do the painting in the then new Mineral Industries Building in 1940. It was “discovered” a couple of years ago by an art consultant working on the movie.
The unveiling is scheduled for 3 p.m., first floor lobby of the NRCCE, with the open house continuing until 5 p.m.