Art school cinema: Rex ingram and the lessons of the studio

Kaveh Askari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-145
Number of pages34
JournalFilm History: An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Aesthetic education
  • Art film
  • Exceptional Photoplays
  • Pictorialism
  • Rex Ingram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History


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