Bill Moritz 1941-2004

The legendary animation educator and historian Bill Moritz died on 12 March 2004.

Dr William Moritz was one of the world’s greatest specialists on experimental film, animation and visual music. He was a film historian, professor, archivist and author of the very best sort - passionate, prolific, gentle, generous, accessible, inspirational and a practitioner of what he taught - he made 34 films, both experimental and animation.

He was on the faculty at California Institute of the Arts, lectured at film festivals, museums, universities and conferences worldwide, was a past President of the Society for Animation Studies, and authored articles on abstract film & colour music, UPA, animation in the Nazi era, Max Fleischer, Oskar Fischinger, Jules Engel, Jordan Belson, the Whitneys, Bruce Conner, Harry Smith, Hy Hirsh, Mary Ellen Bute, Pat O’Neill, Stan Vanderbeek and many other artists.

In 1996 Absolut Vodka, together with Christine Panushka, launched the pioneering website Absolut Panushka, an online experimental animation festival (now gone and much lamented). There was no-one better equipped than Bill Moritz to provide the site’s historic timeline - altogether he wrote 200 pages of background and contextual material covering a century of experiment.

His upcoming definitive biography of Oskar Fischinger, Optical Poetry (to be published very shortly by John Libby), is the culmination of more than 30 years’ research and work with the Fischinger Estate - and a fitting memento of a very special person.

Cindy Keefer on Bill Moritz for Animation World Network, 24 June 2003
A Lifetime in Animation: The Glamorous Dr. William Moritz
articles by Bill Moritz in the Animation World Network archive
Bill Moritz’s AWN articles
official website of the Fischinger Archive

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