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Simple Destiny Abstractions - Douglass Crockwell


Rental Format(s): Digital File

A number of silent fragments restored 2001 and 2019 by Bruce Posner
Co-makers: Douglass Crockwell and David Smith
Original format: 16mm silent film 1.37:1
Intentionally silent
Courtesy: Douglass Crockwell, Johanna Crockwell

Douglass Crockwell, who earned his living as a noted realist illustrator, was a cinema abstractionist and inventor of animation processes. This footage includes unreleased experiments in abstract wax cinematography as well as a surreal claymation made in collaboration with sculptor David Smith, Crockwell's neighbor. -Bruce Posner

Douglass Crockwell (1904-1968), who earned his living as a noted realist illustrator, was a cinema abstractionist and inventor of animation processes. His films include paintings on glass and sliced wax abstractions. His commercial illustrations compare well to those of his near namesake, Norman Rockwell. Among Crockwell's inventions are his Pan-Stereo camera and a modified Mutoscope for displaying sequential art. -Cecile Starr

David Smith (1906-1965) was an acclaimed sculptor, draughtsman, and painter. From the early to mid-1930s, Smith made photographs conceived as abstract collages and after 1945 as documents of his own sculptures. His relationship with artists Douglass Crockwell and Leo Lances resulted in his collaboration on film projects during the mid to late 30s. -Bruce Posner

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