The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to congratulate Katherine Rochester on the successful defense of her dissertation, "Lotte Reiniger and the Animated Ornament in Experimental Film, 1919-1937" on April 9th.
Beginning in 1919, German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger created over sixty fairy tale films composed of ornate silhouettes shot on an animation table of her own design. Katherine's dissertation involved a formal analysis of a selection of Reiniger's films from the Weimar period, with an extended discussion of The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), revealing Reiniger’s distinct aesthetic as an ornamental mode of animation, even as the migration of ornament (as both decorative silhouette and geometric abstraction) has been largely neglected in both film studies and art history. In focusing on a series of extraordinary exhibitions Katherine's research establishes that experimental animation was conceived in relation to its materials and that Lotte Reiniger’s practice stands as a precursor to later and better-known attempts to negotiate the relationship between the gallery and the moving image.
Katherine has recently accepted a Curatorial Fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Congratulations Katherine!