Stanley VanDerBeek A’56

(provided by Max VanDerBeek)

Stanley Van Der Beek, Art 1956, was a prolific experimental filmmaker and computer-graphics pioneer.  After studying at The Cooper Union, he studied painting at Black Mountain College. He acquired basic film making and animation skills while working on the set of an early children’s television program, “Winky Dink and You”. His work’s invigorating clash of sounds and images, at once charming and startling, was at the convergence of art and technology. Painting and collage mingle with written word poems, live action-animated films, inter-media events, video experiments, and computer graphics.

Stan VanDerBeek sought a universal means of communication, years before the phenomenon of the World Wide Web came into existence .  His work includes the animation of films such as “Euclidean Illusion” and “Curious Phenomena”, both made while an artist-in-residence at NASA in Houston. Additionally, he was One of the first artists-in-residence at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT.

His “Moviedrome”, the first such done in the United States, consisted of a continual sequence of multiple projections on a dome over the audience and was first presented in 1966 as part of the, now historic, New York Film Festival.  His”Moviedrome” is frequently cited as an influential and important contribution to the genre of Expanded Cinema.

His work has been recognized at numerous international film festivals and is part of the collections of the MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Stan Van Der Beek wrote about film making for numerous magazines, newspapers, and other publications, and served as a film-making, animation, and computer-art professor at over fifteen institutions of higher education.  He taught at Columbia University, the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, and the University of Hawaii, among others.  He served as the chairman of the Department
of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1975, until his death in 1984, where he founded an image lab with computers and other technical equipment for artist’s use.


Stan VanDerBeek A’56 received the 1972 President’s Citation Award and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.


Additional Information

“Stan VanDerBeek,” by Geeta Dayal, MIT Visual Arts Center, Jun 1, 2011.  Link

“Stan VanDerBeek,” The Box Gallery.  Link

“Stan VanDerBeek,” by Leo Goldsmith, Art Agenda.  Link