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Art School Cinema: Rex Ingram and the Lessons of the Studio


In the early 1920s, Rex Ingram stood out in critical and commercial publicity, not simply as a visual stylist but as a sculptor working in the medium of film. This reputation can be traced from his arts education at Yale, through his early acting jobs, to his career as a director. The discussion and promotion of Ingram’s early films at Metro, particularly Scaramouche (1923), reveal how his public relationships with the visual arts and visual artists helped to create a special status for his stylized films among critics, educators, and institutions that sought to define a type of art cinema. As an addendum, this essay also reprints and examines a page from a student’s notes taken during an early Vachel Lindsay lecture at the New York School of Art.

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