Saturday, February 27, 2016

WPA Film Spring Tour

Our spring screening schedule is in full swing for "Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA." We are also screening our film "O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward" at Georgetown University.  Here are the dates and locations:

March 6 -- 2:00pm
Tyler Public Library
In conjunction with Smith County Historical Society and The Winners Circle. Special encore presentation!
Tyler, Texas

March 31 -- 6:00pm
"O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward"
Georgetown University
Lauinger Library
Washington, D.C.

April 16 -- 1:00pm
Old Greenbelt Theatre
Greenbelt, Maryland

May 1 -- 4:00pm
Mount Holly Town Library
Ludlow, Vermont

May 4 -- 6:30pm
Norwalk Community College
Norwalk, Connecticut
Special fundraiser for the Westport and Norwalk Historical Societies

September 23 -- 7:30pm
Fredonia Opera House
Fredonia, NY

Monday, February 22, 2016

Inspiring WPA Story from Tyler, Texas

We couldn't help but be inspired by this article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph.  We are so proud to be screening our film "Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" again Tyler, Texas on Sunday, March 6 in conjunction with the Tyler Public Library and Smith County Historical Society

Read a short excerpt from the article below:

Former Police Chief Ties Success to Community
Tyler area resident John Moore, 88, looks fondly back at his formative years in the New York City Harlem River Houses. He has spent decades researching and celebrating the community as a pastime.
The Harlem River Houses were built in 1937 as part of a New Deal and Works Progress Administration project.
“We had all sorts of programs. Athletic, social programs all run by the tenants themselves. Even kindergarten and day care,” Moore said. “During the summertime, I recall not having to leave the grounds for weeks, because I had everything I needed.”
“The amazing thing, during the research, looking at the people who came from the Harlem River Houses, is what they achieved,” he said. “It’s just phenomenal for that development to have produced that level of people who were so successful."
When Moore heard about the Smith County Historical Society’s plans to bring in a documentary about the works of the WPA administration, he was eager to share his story.
Moore will be joined by Greta Moore-Dixon, a former Harlem music teacher from Tyler, who will help the historical society in presenting a showing of Michael Maglaras’ Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at the Tyler Public Library.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New documentary film celebrates the art of America’s Gilded Age

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, detail of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, 1897. 
Courtesy of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial.
Connecticut-based independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films announce a new film project – their seventh in ten years and their sixth “essay in film” – highlighting the arts of the American renaissance…what Mark Twain described as “The Gilded Age.”

The film is titled “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age” and is scheduled for release in December 2016.

 Writer and director Michael Maglaras has written, “After the Civil War, American arts and American

John Singer Sargent, Madame X 
(Madame Pierre Gautreau), 1883-1884. 
Oil on canvas. Image © The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. Image source: 
Art Resource, NY.
artists come into their own on the world stage. In painting, in sculpture, in architecture, and in music, America finds its artistic soul and voice in the work created from the end of the Civil War through the first decade of the 20th century.”

Using the work of painters as diverse as Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent, “America Rising” creates a portrait of an America re-inventing itself after the tragic events of the Civil War as a major artistic force. With the great public sculptures of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston (referred to in the film by Director Maglaras as “the finest piece of memorial sculpture in America”), “America Rising” focuses on how the rise of the middle class and the even greater rising of industrialists like Henry Clay Frick and others contributed to an America poised, through its art, to commemorate its past and invent its future. In the music of Charles Ives and Charles Tomlinson Griffes we hear an America escaping European musical tradition and embracing Modernism.

Childe Hassam, The Island Garden, 1892. Watercolor on paper. 
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 
Washington, DC / Art Resource, NY.
With more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs, as well as film footage of the era (including the only known footage of Mark Twain)…and featuring the on-camera contributions of Professor David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University, “America Rising” shows us how “The Gilded Age” was the most prolific and ultimately the most vital era in the American arts.

More about 217 Films: 
217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience.  In 2005, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley's epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film.  In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet” – the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that John Marin was one of the fathers of American Modernism. These films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2012, they released “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” In 2013, they released “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show.” Currently on tour is their latest film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” celebrating the ways in which Franklin Roosevelt used the arts to raise the spirits of the American people during the Great Depression.

Mark Twain, 1907. Photograph. 
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a film maker of "Bergman-like gravitas." His films have been described as "virtuoso filmmaking" (National Gallery of Art) "alive and fresh" (Art New England) "elegiac and insightful" (Naples Daily News) "unforgettable" (Journal of American History) and “comparable to that of the widely acclaimed Ken Burns” (New Britain Herald). David Berona, author of Wordless Books, said of “O Brother Man” "This film is stunning." Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it "magnificent." The Dartmouth’s review of “The Great Confusion noted “Michael Maglaras brought the drama of the original show back to life." Library Journal called it “An excellent analysis of an event that changed the art world.” The Blue Paper called Maglaras’s film on the arts of the WPA “a wonderful celebration of America, her people, and her possibilities.” Maglaras was recently featured in a full-length interview on Conversations from Penn State on Public Television.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Antiques And The Arts Features 217 Films New Documentary on the Arts of the WPA

Antiques And The Arts Weekly is featuring an excerpt from 217 Films' new documentary on the arts of the WPA on its website.  Check it out at this link.

"Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA" is the sixth film for Ashford, Connecticut filmmaker Michael Maglaras and his wife and executive producer, Terri Templeton of 217 Films.  

This film is currently on tour and new screening dates are being added frequently.  The screening schedule can be viewed at this link.  The DVD is also available on Amazon at this link.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lynd Ward Film at Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

217 Films’ “O Brother Man: The Art and and Life of Lynd Ward” Makes Columbus Debut at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

Lynd Ward is the father of the American graphic novel and one of the most prolific book illustrators and printmakers in the history of American art.  The Columbus premiere of 217 Films’ documentary “O Brother Man:  The Life and Art of Lynd Ward” will be held Saturday, February 20 at 6:00pm at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in conjunction with the exhibition WORDLESS: The Collection of David Berona and Dedini: The Art of Humor.  Full details about this exhibit can be viewed at this link.  

This film screening will be introduced by filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton and a Q&A will follow.

O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward” has been called “Unforgettable” (Journal of American History), “Magnificent” (Judith Regan, Sirius XM Radio) and “Stunning” (David Berona, author of Wordless Books). 

Featuring more than 150 wood engravings, drawings, and illustrations by this seminal American artist and storyteller, this 90-minute film brings the creativity of Ward to life and illustrates his mastery of the “novel without words.” 

O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward” includes recently rediscovered footage of Ward at work filmed in 1937 as he completed his great masterpiece “Vertigo.”  Ward’s work chronicles American life in the 20th-century, and demonstrates his deep personal commitment to social justice and the plight of the workingman during the depths of the Great Depression.

Clips from the film can be viewed at this link:

Ward (1905-1985) illustrated more than 200 books and was among the foremost graphic book artists of 20th-century America.  His books, prints, and artwork are held by major museums and libraries worldwide.  His stories without words, such as "Song Without Words: A Book of Engravings on Wood" (1930), are precursors to the modern graphic novel and are acknowledged masterpieces of that genre. Between 1929 and 1937, Ward produced six of these books, where the storyline was told entirely through wood engravings.

WHAT:  Columbus premiere screening of 217 Films’ documentary:   O Brother Man: The Life and Art of Lynd Ward.”  Introduction and Q&A with filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton.

Saturday, February 20

WHERE:  The Ohio State Universiry
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum
The Jean and Charles Schultz Lecture Hall
1813 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210

COST: Free

FMI:  Call 614-292-0538 or email