Adrienne Harris recently visited the Southampton library with Professor and novelist Robert Reeves. Robert Reeves guided her through the multiple displays that SBU’s Southampton Library put together in honor of her late husband, Dr. Robert Sklar. She spoke in great detail about Dr. Sklar’s involvement in the film community, including his advocating of ‘orphaned’ films (that is, films that have been already made but lack a proper distributor). Ms. Harris complimented our library’s open space and engaged the Sklar displays with enthusiasm.
When asked for comment, Robert Reeves responded:
“The gift of the Sklar Collection in 2013 was crucial to the launch of our MFA program in Film, the first in the entire SUNY system. There can be no better intellectual support for graduate studies than the books collected over a lifetime by an inaugurating scholar of American Cinema.
The generosity of the Sklar family, and in particular Adrienne Harris, has been crucial to our continuing success. Every graduate student accepted into the program receives a Sklar Prize, ensuring that the presence of Robert Sklar will continue to influence the cultural innovators of tomorrow.”
41 Seawolves enrolled in Stony Brook University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Film have been awarded the Sklar Prize. These recipients include producer and writer Cory Krueckerberg, writer Kathleen Harty, art director, actor, and lecturer Tonylin Sideco. Many more SBU alumni are budding artists within the film industry thanks in part to the Sklar Prize.
Who was Robert Sklar?
Dr. Robert Sklar, an alumni of Princeton University and Harvard University, was a Professor of history at the University of Michigan and later became a professor of cinema studies at New York University from 1977-2009. Dr. Sklar served on the selection committee of the New York Film Festival though the 1990’s. As a Member of the National Film Preservation Board since 1997, he helped choose films to be included on the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry.
Dr. Sklar specialized in the history of cinema and published many scholarly works on the subject, including: Movie-Made America (1975), Film (1993), City Boys (1992), and A World History of Film (2001). Dr. Sklar was a trailblazer when it came to connecting the motion picture’s role in shaping our history. He also played a pivotal role in gaining acceptance of cinema studies as an academic discipline.
Read more about the Sklar Collection here.