Search Museum of the Moving Image

Loading Events

Discovery in a Painting, courtesy of the filmmaker


Leo Hurwitz’s “The Art of Seeing” series

Saturday, Oct 15, 2022 at 3:45 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

With Tom Hurwitz and Manfred Kirchheimer in person

Light and the City
Dir. Leo Hurwitz, Peggy Lawson. 1970, 20 mins. Digital Projection.

Discovery in a Landscape
Dir. Leo Hurwitz, Peggy Lawson. 1970, 31 mins. 16mm.

Discovery in a Painting
Dir. Leo Hurwitz, Peggy Lawson, Manfred Kirchheimer. 1970/2016, 30 mins. DCP.

Light and the Country
Dir. Leo Hurwitz, Peggy Lawson. 1970, 15 mins. 16mm.

Funded by a Ford Foundation grant and commissioned by the American Federation of Arts (AFA) as an educational series to deepen aesthetic appreciation in children, this series of short films became as personal a project as any Hurwitz undertook over the course of his career. Largely forgoing narration, Hurwitz, in partnership with his wife and editor Peggy Lawson, sought to craft a set of sensual paeans to the spiritually nourishing qualities of sight as well as sound. Featuring some of the most exquisite and technically precise color 16mm cinematography in American documentary film, richly layered ambient soundtracks, and scores carefully stitched from recordings by the likes of Jimmy Giuffre (for the bucolic Discovery in a Landscape); Messiaen, Ravel, and Schubert (for the Cézanne study Discovery in a Painting); and Charlie Musselwhite and Country Joe and the Fish (for the smog-choked Light and the City), Hurwitz and Lawson’s films offer up a luxurious taxonomy of cinematic pleasures. The series is preceded by Manfred Kirchheimer’s Light (c. 1968-9, 10 mins. 16mm.), a stylistic precursor, also commissioned by the AFA. Post-screening Q&A.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.