Early Abstractions (1946-57)
Short animations by HARRY SMITH


‘Harry Everett Smith (29 May 1923, Portland, Oregon – 27 November 1991, New York City) was an American archivist, ethnomusicologist, student of anthropology, record collector, experimental filmmaker, artist, bohemian and mystic. Smith is a well-known figure in several fields. People who know him as a filmmaker often do not know of his 1952 Anthology of American Folk Music, while folk music enthusiasts often do not know he was “the greatest living magician” according to Kenneth Anger’ WIKI


  1. Film Number 1 – A Strange Dream (ca. 1946-48) color; hand-painted 35mm stock photographed in 16mm; soundtrack: “Manteca” by the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra; 2:20 min.
  2. Film Number 2 – Message from the Sun (ca. 1946-48) color; hand-painted 35mm stock photographed in 16mm; soundtrack unknown; 2:15 min.
  3. Film Number 3 – Interwoven (ca. 1947-49) color; hand-painted 35mm photographed in 16mm; soundtrack: “Guarachi Guaro” by the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra; 3:20 min. (reportedly edited down from ca. 30:00 min.) (Part1
  4. Film Number 4 – Fast Track (ca. 1949) color (shot of painting depicting the recording “Manteca” by the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra) and black & white (superimposition experiment); 16mm; silent; 2:16 min.
  5. Film Number 5 – Circular Tensions (Homage to Oskar Fischinger) (ca. 1950) color; 16mm; silent; 2:30 min.
  6. Film Number 7 – Color Study (ca. 1950-51) color; 16mm; silent; 5:25 min.
  7. Film Number 10 – Mirror Animations (ca. 1957) color; 16mm; soundtrack unknown; 3:35 min.