Robert Gardner (anthropologist)
November 5, 1925 |
academic, anthropologist, documentary filmmaker,
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Robert Gardner (born November 5, 1925 in Brookline, Massachusetts) is an American academic, anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker, who was the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1957 to 1997. Starting in 1950s, he is known for his work in the field of visual anthropology and films like Dead Birds (1965) and Forest of Bliss (1986), in 2011, a retrospective of his work was held at Film Forum, New York.
He was the sixth child and third son, born in the home of his grandmother Isabella Stewart Gardner  After receiving his graduating with Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1947, he became an assistant to archaeologist and the founder of the Byzantine Institute of America, Thomas Whittemore at Harvard's Fogg Museum. This led to travels to Anatolia, Fayum and London working with Coptic textiles and restoring Byzantine art Next, he started teaching medieval art and history at the College of Puget Sound in Washington state. Here, he took to writings of anthropologist Ruth Benedict and he ended up post doing MA in anthropology from Harvard. It was during his graduation period that he took part in an expedition on Kalahari Desert Bushmen, for which he took photographs, films and carried out elementary research work. Thereafter he founded The Film Study Center, a production and research unit at the Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1957. Here it made documentary films till he left the centre in 1997.
- "“It is apparent that only a certain kind of person will want to make ethnographic films, It will, above all, be those who sense the profound affinity that exists between the film medium and a desire to understand people.” 
- Blunden Harbour (1951)
- Dances of the Kwakiutl (1951)
- Mark Tobey (1952)
- The Hunters (1957)
- Marathon (1964)
- Dead Birds (1965)
- Screening Room (1970s), series includes 9 films
- The Nuer (1971)
- Mark Tobey Abroad (1973)
- Rivers of Sand (1973)
- Altar of Fire (1976)
- Deep Hearts (1981)
- Sons of Shiva (1985)
- Forest of Bliss (1986)
- Ika Hands (1988)
- Dancing With Miklos (1993)
- The Passenger (1998)
- Scully in Malaga (1998)
- Good to Pull (Bon a Tirer) (2000)
- Gardner, Robert. 2006. The Impulse to Preserve: Reflections of a Filmmaker. Other Press.
- The Cinema of Robert Gardner, by Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Taylor. Berg, 2007. ISBN 1845207742.
- Harry Tomicek. 1991 Gardner Oesterreichisches Filmuseum. (In german)
- Robert Gardener Profile at The Film Study Center at Harvard University
- An Anthropological Critique Of The Films Of Robert Gardner at Temple University
- Ruby, Jay. Picturing Culture: Explorations of Film and Anthropology. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 2000.
- Heider, Karl. Ethnographic Film. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978.
- Robert Gardner website
- Robert Gardner at Harvard
- Revue Independencia
- Robert Gardner at the Internet Movie Database
- Robert Gardner at AllRovi