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Eileen Bowser (1928-2019)

Eileen Bowser at the 1979 Lausanne Congress. Courtesy of Eva Orbanz.

A few days after the loss of Paul Spehr, we sadly inform you that our esteemed colleague Eileen Bowser passed away on 24 December.

A distinguished film archivist and historian, and a key FIAF personality from the early 1970s, Eileen Bowser was Film Curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art for over twenty years. She retired from this post in 1992, but continued to teaching at New York University and continued her own research and writing for a number of years. She served FIAF in many capacities over four decades. She was a continuous FIAF Executive Committee member from 1971 to 1991 (and FIAF Vice-President from 1977-85), and Head of the FIAF Documentation Commission for many years. She took a key part in the organization of many FIAF historical symposia in the 1970s and 80s (in particular the legendary Brighton one on early cinema in 1978, and the "Slapstick Symposium" in New York in 1985).In 1980 she co-edited for FIAF, with John Kuiper, A Handbook for Film Archives. She joined the Editorial Board of the FIAF Bulletin/Journal of Film Preservation at the beginning of the review in the early 1970s, and was still on it at the time of her passing nearly 50 years later. She was elected FIAF Honorary Member on 31 May 1993.


Eileen Bowser (1928-2019) filmed by Christian Dimitriu in 1994