Helena Smith Dayton Helena Smith Dayton

The Academy Museum has announced it will host Preservation Conversation: “The Only Woman Animator” – Women at the Dawn of an Industry, on Monday, December 19 at the Ted Mann Theater in Hollywood.

Hosted by Academy film scholar Mindy Johnson, the presentation will look back to the earliest days of the animation industry when one woman animated and directed alongside the men who are now credited as pillars of the artform and the industry. Sadly, as is too often the case, her contributions were diminished over time.

Johnson will introduce this long-forgotten filmmaker and her surviving work to the world once again. The special event will also feature the stories and work of other women artists from the early 20th century.

In a release, Johnson outlined the thesis of her presentation, explaining:

In a landmark event, this ground-breaking artist, and her surviving films, are finally introduced to the world, marking the debut of the earliest-known hand-drawn animation – animated and directed by a woman. Join author/historian Mindy Johnson, as she once again transforms our animated past with a premiere event celebrating the pivotal discovery of “the only woman animator” in the earliest days of animation as well as other women artists at the dawn of an industry.

Restored versions of the foundational works will be screened with live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

Photo at top: Credit – The Academy Museum


Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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