Alexander Hammid: A Memorial Salute

Feb 24–26, 2006

MoMA

Meshes of the Afternoon. 1943. USA. Directed by Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Born Alexander Hackenschmied in 1907 in Linz, Austria, Alexander (Sasha) Hammid grew up in Prague, and became a major figure in the circle of avant-garde Czech photographers in the late 1920s. He devoted himself to cinema in 1931, making his own experimental films and photographing and editing others’ films, including anti-Nazi documentaries for other directors. Fleeing the German occupation in 1939, Hammid settled in New York. In 1942 he met Maya Deren, for whom he photographed the landmark American short film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). Hammid worked for the Office of War Information in the 1940s, and for the United Nations in the 1960s, completing poetic pieces and socially relevant documentaries. Some of his most notable works are Valley of the Tennessee (1944), The Private Life of a Cat (1946), and, with Francis Thompson, to be alive! (1964), a pioneering multiscreen environment, and To Fly (1968), one of the earliest IMAX films. Hammid died in 2004, and this program, drawn primarily from the Museum’s film archives, pays tribute to the late filmmaker.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film and Media.

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].