Jane Wodening

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Jane Wodening
Jane with goose.tif
Jane Wodening c. 1970s
Mary Jane Collom

Years active1976 to present
(m. 1957; div. 1987)
ChildrenMyrrena Schwegmann (b. 1958)
Crystal Brakhage (b. 1960)
Neowyn Bartek (b. 1961)
Bearthm Brakhage (b. 1963)
Rarc Brakhage (b.1964)

Jane Wodening (born Mary Jane Collom in 1936), is an American artist and writer who spent thirty years married to filmmaker Stan Brakhage, from 1957 until 1987. She is most known for being featured in Brakhage's experimental short film Window Water Baby Moving, in which her husband films her giving birth.

Life and career[edit]

Wodening married Stan Brakhage in 1957. During their marriage, she was featured in one of Brakhage's best-known works, the experimental short film Window Water Baby Moving.[1] In the film, her husband films her giving birth.[1] Critic Archer Winsten described the film as being "so forthright, so full of primitive wonder and love, so far beyond civilization in its acceptance that it becomes an experience like few in the history of movies."[2] The Academy Film Archive preserved Window Water Baby Moving in 2013.[3]

She later featured in another "birth film" filmed by Brakhage, called Thigh Line Lyre Triangular (1961), though this film was less critically acclaimed.[4]

After almost 30 years of marriage, Brakhage separated from Wodening in 1986, and the divorce was finalized a year later. She subsequently lived in her car for two years and drove all over America, creating the book Driveabout. Later, she lived alone in a tiny cabin at 10,000 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountains, creating another book Living Up There while getting out several collections of short stories.[5]

In 2004, she moved to Denver, Colorado and continued writing books, such as Wolf Dictionary, The Lady Orangutan and Other Stories, Animals I've Neglected to Mention, and Brakhage’s Childhood.[5]


In the mid to late 1960s, Wodening made a set of three large scrapbooks that include many of the poets and artists of the time. These are now in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. They have since been made accessible online.[6][7][8]


• Animals I've Neglected to Mention - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 80466, 2019

• Driveabout - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 80466, 2016

• Wolf Dictionary - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 80466, 2016

• Brakhage's Childhood - Granary Books, New York, NY 2016

• The Lady Orangutan and Other Stories - Sockwood Press, Nederland, CO 2014

• Living Up There - Foreword by Reed Bye - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2009

• Egypt and Me - Introduction by Jennifer Heath, design by Sarah Bell - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2012

• First Presence - Introduction by Merill Gilfillan - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 2000

• Mountain Woman Tales - illustrated by Betsy Buck - Grackle Books, Nederland, CO 1994

second edition Mountain Woman Tales and Bird Journal, 1967 - Baksun Books, Boulder CO 2000

• Book of Gargoyles - preface by Lucia Berlin - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 1999

• Moon Songs - situations press, New York, NY 1997

• The Inside Story - Baksun Books in collaboration with Rodent Press, Boulder, CO 1996

• From the Book of Legends - 100 copies made - Granary Books, New York, NY 1989

second edition, preface by Robert Creeley - Invisible Books, London, UK 1993

• Lump Gulch Tales - Grackle Books, Nederland, CO 1993

second edition - Baksun Books, Boulder, CO 1993


  1. ^ a b Elder, R. Bruce (1997) Body of vision: representations of the body in recent film and poetry, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, p141
  2. ^ Winston, Archer: quoted in Dixon, Wheeler W. (2006) Visions of paradise: images of Eden in the cinema, Rutgers University Press, p19
  3. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  4. ^ Barr, William R. (1999) "Brakhage: Artistic Development in Two Childbirth Films," Film quarterly: forty years, a selection, University of California Press, p536-541
  5. ^ a b "Jane Wodening". Jane Wodening. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  6. ^ Wodening, Jane (1958–1967). Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage scrapbook.
  7. ^ Wodening, Jane (1958–1967). Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage scrapbook.
  8. ^ Brakhage, Stan (1958–1967). Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage scrapbook.