Cecile Starr papers relating to Mary Ellen Bute
Scope and Contents
Conditions Governing Access
Boxes 7, 10-11 (audiovisual formats): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
4.65 Linear Feet (10 boxes)
Language of Materials
Cecile Starr (1921-)
Mary Ellen Bute, 1906-1983
Bute was born in Houston, Texas in 1906. She studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadephia and lighting design at Yale University. Her early influences included Leon Theremin and Gerald Warburg and she collaborated with Theremin to produce a paper titled "Light as an art material and its possible synchronization with sound" (1932). Most of Bute's films were produced by Ted Nemeth Studios or Expanding Cinema Studios and her collaborators included Norman McLaren and Melville Webber. Later in life Bute was a founding member of the Women's Independent Film Exchange.
Bute's films include: "Synchromy" (1932 or 1933), "Rhythm in Light" (1934), "Synchromy No. 2" (1935), "Dada" (1936), "Parabola" (1937), "Escape" (1937), "Spook Sport" (1939), "Tarantella" (1940), "Polka Graph" (1947), "Color Rhapsody" (1948), "Imagination" (1948), "New Sensations in Sound" (1949), "Pastorale" (1950), "Abstronic" (1952), "Mood Contrasts" (1953), "The Boy Who Saw Through" (1956, producer), "Passages from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake" (1965-1967), and "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" (1977-1980, unfinished). Bute's projects also include two adaptations of plays: "Lazarus Laughed" by Eugene O'Neill and "Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder (both unfinished).
In 1940 Bute married camera operator and painter Theodore (Ted) Nemeth and they collaborated on many of her projects. Ted Nemeth Studios focused on commercial films and Nemeth also handled the distribution of Bute's films. Bute and Nemeth had two sons: Theodore Jr. and James.
- Guide to the Cecile Starr Papers Relating to Mary Ellen Bute
- by Lisa Conathan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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