Merry-Go-Round, 1913, courtesy The Museum of Modern Art

Bert Williams, Rediscovered

Resurrecting a Lost Landmark in Black Film History
Friday, May 15, 2015 - 7:00pm

Program Notes: 

PDF icon Program Guide

NOTE this is a ticketed event. Please reserve your free tickets via the link above.

Original musical accompaniment by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, featuring Marvin Tate.

Introduction by Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College.

In the fall of 1913, a virtuoso cast of Black performers led by the preeminent comedian Bert Williams (1874-­1922) gathered in the Bronx to make a motion picture, Lime Kiln Club Field Day.  After more than an hour of film was shot, the unreleased project was abandoned by its white producers and left forgotten until discovered a century later in the Biograph Studio collection at the Museum of Modern Art. This screening features an hour-long assemblage of daily rushes and multiple takes from the earliest known surviving feature-length film with a Black cast. Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator in MoMA's Department of Film will discuss the film's creation, disappearance, and resurrection.  

The Black Monks of Mississippi tonight features musicians Khari Woolfolk, Kiara Lanier, Yaw Agyeman, Michael Drayton, and William Mazzarella in addition to Marvin Tate.

Presented with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.