Bert Williams and Company

Jan 13–19, 2016


Production still from Lime Kiln Club Field Day. 1913/2014. USA. Directed by Directed by Edwin Middleton, T. Hayes Hunter, Sam Corker Jr.

The Museum’s celebrated restoration of the black-cast 1913 feature Lime Kiln Club Field Day returns after its 2014 world-premiere in a newly titled and tinted 35mm print. At a challenging time of segregation, in the fall of 1913, a pioneering cast of African American performers, led by the famed Caribbean American entertainer Bert Williams, gathered in the Bronx to make a series of movies based on the Lime Kiln Club stories of white humorist Charles Bertrand Lewis. After shooting over 80 minutes of film, the project was abandoned by its white producers, who packed the footage away in unidentified cans, leaving no written record. The recovery of this work stands today as testament to this community of entertainers at a moment in their struggle for the right to perform and the freedom to control their own image.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film.


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