Skip to Main Content

Filmography - Art, Architecture and Design - Essential Viewing: N - Z

Titles on DVD and streaming video as of October 2013.

Art, Architecture and Design - Essential Viewing

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of August 2013

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on prison topics (including VHS tapes) search the library catalog at:

Naina Jogin. 2007.  1 videodisc (59 min.). "In Madhubani, people struggle against trying circumstances to eke out a living. Many have taken to painting to survive. They paint the traditional motives (erstwhile painted on cow dung textured walls of huts and closely associated with ritual ) unto paper. These paintings are then sold in markets in India and abroad. While many painters repeat certain traditional motives other artists boldly expand the scope to include contemporary themes. The film is about these painters, their circumstances, their inspirations and their works." --taken from film's website. DVD 9654 

Nevelson in process.  1977.  The Originals, women in art.  1 videodisc (29 min.). One of a series of biographical documentaries whose focus is on the integration of the artists' lives and works. Contrasts sculptor Louise Nevelson's public and private lives, demonstrates her technique of creating pieces out of discarded wood, and offers her thoughts on her work. DVD 9654 

A new Saint, a new art. 2004.  1 videodisc (49 min.). St. Francis of Assisi revolutionized Christianity in 13th-century Tuscany with his down-to-earth belief that poverty, chastity, and obedience should shape an individual's relationship with God. By going back to Christ's original message, he played a pivotal role in the genesis of the Renaissance. This poignant program investigates how St. Francis's infusion of emotion and nature into the Christian mainstream inspired artists of the period to produce naturalistic depictions of him that were full of action and feeling.  DVD 1197 and Streaming video

Nightwatching. 2009.  2 videodiscs (135 min.). In the year 1642, Rembrandt reluctantly agrees to paint the Amsterdam Musketeer Militia in a group portrait that will later come to be known as the Nightwatch and stumbles upon a treacherous murder plot involving his subjects. Determined to expose the conspiracy, Rembrandt builds his accusation in the form of the commissioned painting, a decision which costs him everything. DVD 6683

Objectified. 2009.  1 videodisc (75 mins.). A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. In his second film, director Gary Hustwit  (Helvetica) documents the creative processes of some of the world's most influential product designers, and looks at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. DVD 7227 

Olmsted and America's urban parks. 2012.  1 videodisc (57 min.). Olmsted and America's Urban Parks, examines the visionary urban planner and landscape architect's impact on the development of America's first great city parks. Told in large part through Olmsted's own words, this film weaves together his poignant personal story and pioneering vision with contemporary footage of the lasting masterpieces he left behind. DVD 9066 

Our city dreams. 2009.  1 videodisc (85 min.). Filmmaker Chiara Clemente shines a light on five women artists whose inspiration is fueled by living in New York City. The artists - Nancy Spero, Marina Abramovic, Kiki Smith, Ghada Amer, and Swoon - have widely varying backgrounds and artistic styles, but they all have one thing in common: they city they now call home. DVD 4833

Painters painting: A candid history of the New York art scene, 1940-1970. 2010.  1 videodisc (116 min.). Emile de Antonio was a close friend to many New York painters who later went on to become famous. He filmed and interviewed them informally in their studios. Artists included are Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Phillip Pavia, and Hans Hoffman. DVD 9052 

Painting and advertising. 1974.  Ways of seeing.  1 videodisc (30 min.). Examines the effects of surrounding people with images of alternative lifestyles, images either painted or photographed. Berger examines his view of the similarities between modern selling of products and oil paintings of the past, both relating to the principle that you are what you have. DVD 9574

Painting and the camera. 1974.  Ways of seeing.  1 videodisc (32 min.). Presents views of Western art, linking paintings with modern advertising techniques. Develops the theme that technology (photography) changes the nature of perception of painting, permitting the manipulation of context which alters the original meaning. DVD 9571

Philip Guston, a life lived. 2005.  1 videodisc (59 min.). A series of interviews with Philip Guston conducted throughout the seventies to 1980. Guston discusses his career as a painter and the influences from his personal life, politics, and the art community on his work and his place in the "New York School." DVD 7488 

Picturing Mary. 2007.  1 videodisc (ca. 57 min.). Visit museums, chapels and cathedrals in eight countries to view rare and sacred masterpieces portraying Mary by artists such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Duccio in their original locations. Visit museums, chapels and cathedrals in eight countries to view rare and sacred masterpieces portraying Mary by artists such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Duccio, and van Eyck in their original locations. Looks at artwork ranging from tiny personal images to giant mosaics and frescoes to examine the way artists have expressed their personal devotion and communicated their vision of Mary. DVD 2466

Pollock. 2001.  1 videodisc (123 min.). "Fellow artists and lovers Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner are at the center of New York's 1940's art scene, but as Krasner neglects her work to push Pollock's career forward, Pollock begins to unravel emotionally. Pollock and Krasner escape to the country to marry, and soon, Pollock creates the work that makes him the first internationally-famous modern painter in America.  But with fame and fortune comes a volatile temper and severe self-doubt; before long, Pollock's life threatens to explode"--Container. DVD 380

The private life of a masterpiece. 2008.  7 videodiscs (1078 min.). This award-winning series reveals the full and fascinating stories behind famous works of art, not just how they came to be created, but also how they influenced others and came to have a life of their own in the modern world. The works of art featured here are both instantly familiar and profoundly mysterious. Revolutionary in their conception, and iconic years after their execution, they each have their own compelling stories. For behind the beautiful canvases and sculptures are tales of political revolution, wartime escapes, massive ego clashes, social scandal, financial wrangling and shocking violence. DVD 6851 - 6857 

The rape of Europa. 2008.  1 videodisc (117 min.). Imagine the world without our masterpieces. Interviews with eyewitnesses and historians and newsreel footage show how heroic Europeans, Russians, and Americans worked to save the art of Europe during World War II. DVD 4909 

Rembrandt. 1936.  1 videodisc (84 min.). "Beginning with Rembrandt in his prime, the film tracks his quiet descent into loneliness and isolated self-expression following the death of his wife." -- Container. DVD 9858

Renaissance masterpieces. 2008.  1 videodisc (197 min.). Four Renaissance masterpieces are profiled, including Sandro Botticelli's La Primavera, Paolo Uccello's The Battle of San Romano, Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper and Piero della Francesca's The Resurrection. DVD 6851

Rivers and tides: Andy Goldsworthy working with time. 2004.  1 videodisc (90 min.). Follows Andy Goldsworthy's bohemian free spirit all over the world as he demonstrates and opens up about his creative process. From his long-winding rock walls and icicle sculptures to his interlocking leaf chains and multi-colored pools of flowers. Goldsworthy's painstakingly intricate masterpieces are made entirely of materials found in Mother Nature - who threatens and often succeeds in destroying his art, sometime before it is even finished. DVD 1056 

The rotund world of Botero. 94.  1 videodisc (58 min.). An insight into the life of Fernando Botero. The artist recalls his early life and travels and demonstrates the difficult techniques of fresco, while working in a church in Piestrasanta, as well as preparing the cast for one of his enormous sculptures. DVD 9975

The shock of the new. 1979-1980  4 videodiscs (416 min.). "Robert Hughes' history of modern art from cubism to pop and the avant-garde. The sequel to the BBC's Civilization series, picks up at the threshold of the 20th century. It is written and presented by Robert Hughes, art critic and senior writer for Time.  Hughes draws on a wealth of documentary materials from the archives of the BBC, including rare footage and interviews with noted artists. The range of major figures includes Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, le Corbusier, Maz Ernst, Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock."--Container. DVD 6161- 6164

Simon Schama's Power of art. 2007.  3 videodiscs (400 min.). Focusing on eight iconic works of art, this series reveals the history of visual imagination through the ages. A combination of reconstruction, photography and storytelling transport the viewer back to the intense moments when great works were conceived and born: the murderous, messianic world of Baroque Rome; opulent, parvenu Amsterdam; paranoid, revolutionary Paris; Victorian England suffocating beneath riches and righteousness; the madhouses and brothels of Provence; the carnage of civil war Spain; 1950s New York, caught between Cold War jitters and Manhattan glitter. In each place, a great artist is backed into a corner, facing a crisis, given a chance to confound his rivals, enemies and critics one more time. DVD 3699

Sketches of Frank Gehry. 2006.  1 videodisc (84 min.). A look at the work of visionary, artist, and well-known architect Frank Gehry. DVD 9988

The spirit catcher. 1977.  The originals: women in art.  1 videodisc (30 min.). One of a series of biographical documentaries whose focus is on the integration of the artists' lives and works. Examines the life and work of the artist, Betye Saar. Uses examples of her art, her comments about her career and the comments of friends and colleagues. Shows how her fascination with the mystical and the unknown merges with her social concerns as a Black American. Her provocative and powerful assemblages, often employing discarded objects, reveal her interest in Caribbean culture and her ability to liberate stereotyped black images from derogatory contexts, thus creating new levels of awareness. Includes several sequences of her at work on her assemblages. DVD 9726

The spirit of the individual. 1998.  1 online resource (24 min.). This video introduces us to fiber artists Michael Cummings, and Peggy Hartwell. Their dazzling creations bridge the gap between folk art and fine art. Each shows how their art is in the African American folk tradition, incorporating storytelling, spirituality, a sense of origins, and of course, brilliant color. They pay homage to their mentors, including Romare Bearden, Sister Gertrude Morgan and Clementine Hunter. Other influences are jazz and blues, religion and fine arts. The results are always different and aesthetically significant expressions of the spirit of the individual. Senior research fellow of the Folk Art Institute, Lee Kogan provides historical perspective on the quilting tradition. Streaming video.;1649690

Stolen. 2006.  1 videodisc (85 min.). In 1990 thieves disguised as policemen gained access into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and executed the largest art heist in modern history. Among the important works stolen was Vermeer's painting, "The Concert." To date, none of the works have been recovered. Features Blythe Danner as the voice of Isabella Stewart Gardner and Campbell Scott as the voice of Bernard Berenson. DVD 3807

Strong-Cuevas sculpture. 2006.  1 online resource (54 min.). Strong-Cuevas sculpts powerful, larger than life pieces that can hold sway on a hilltop, and conjure up tribal pieces from Africa or Oceania. In this film, we follow her from her studio in Amagansett, Long Island to the foundry up the Hudson where her pieces take their final shape in its glowing furnace. With an exacting eye, she works with the staff of experts to refine the shape and burnish the finish. For those who have never seen the genesis of a larger -than -life statue, this is an education in the science and craft of sculpture. Some of Strong- Cuevas pieces may be seen in the famed Grounds for Sculpture, a 22-acre sculpture park in New Jersey. This illuminating documentary allows us to see how an artist's personal vision translates into a work of art. "Strong-Cuevas bronze sculptures contain a great deal of psychic energy. Isolated facial features removed from context, enclosed mysterious spaces, meticulously polished surfaces and a certain ritualistic quality, all help to generate this spiritual feeling" The New York Times. Streaming video.;1649681

Thomas Hart Benton. 2002.  1 videodisc (86 min.). The life and work of artist Thomas Hart Benton as shown through his paintings, through old newsreels, and through interviews with people who knew him. DVD 3302

Tibor Jankay: The art of survival. 1997.  1 online resource (40 min.). This charming film documents the life of a 94-year-old Hungarian born artist who used his artistic skills to survive the Holocaust. With a sculptor's chisel he dug a hole in the bottom of a train bound for Auschwitz and escaped. As a fugitive in Poland he earned his food by drawing portraits of the farm families who admired his talents. Although he suffered during the war years, when it was over he was ready to start a new life in a new country. His irrepressible nature drew him towards Venice, California where he painted exuberant images of love and beauty. Among the threads running through Tibor's life is his deep love for his wife with whom he was miraculously re-united after the war. Even as a widower, he found new friendships among young artists. In fact, he became a mentor to countless young artists, inspiring them with his incredible survival stories and philosophy of forgiveness. Streaming video.;1655045 

To inform & delight the work of Milton Glaser. 2008.  1 videodisc (73 min.). "For many, Milton Glaser is the personification of American graphic design. Best known for co-founding New York Magazine and creating the enduring I [love] NY campaign, the full breadth of Glaser' remarkable artistic output is revealed in this documentary portrait, MILTON GLASER: TO INFORM AND DELIGHT. From newspapers and magazine designs, to interior spaces, logos and brand identities, to his celebrated prints, drawings, posters and paintings, the documentary offers audiences a much richer appreciation for one of the great modern renaissance men..  Artfully directed by first-time filmmaker Wendy Keys, the film glances into everyday moments of Glaser's personal life and captures his immense warmth and humanity, as well as the boundless depth of his intelligence and creativity." --Container. DVD 6086

Tooth and nail: Film and video 1970-1974. 2007.  1 videodisc (137 min.). Features the works of Dennis Oppenheim. Contents: Material interchange -- Identity transfer -- Rocked hand -- Compression-Fern (hand) -- Pressure piece -- Glassed hand -- Compression-Fern (face) -- Leafed hand -- Extended armour -- Nail sharpening -- Toward becoming a devil -- Rocked stomach -- Disappear -- I’m failing -- Mittens -- 2-stage transfer drawing (advancing to a future state) -- Air pressure (hand) -- Lead sink for Sebastian -- Gingerbread man -- Fusion: tooth and nail -- Forming sounds -- A feedback situation -- Objectified counter forces -- Feedback -- Extended expressions -- Vertical penetration -- Whipping into shape -- Parallel arcs -- Slow punch -- Rocks in navel. DVD 10866

Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara. 2007.  1 videodisc (93 min.). Documentary featuring Japanese modern artist Yoshitomo Nara from Hirosaki, Japan. Follows the artist's life journey from London to Bangkok as he travels for his exhibitions and workshops. His latest attempt at creating a collaboration leads to a surprising outcome for both his artwork and himself. DVD 8811

Unseen cinema: Early American avant-garde film, 1894-1941. 2005.  7 videodiscs (1127 min.). This seven-disc collection contains 155 avant-garde films, revealing hitherto unknown accomplishments of American filmmakers working in the United States and abroad from the invention of cinema until World War II. Offers an innovative and often controversial view of experimental film as a product of avant-garde artists, of professional directors and of amateur moviemakers working collectively and as individuals at all levels of film production. DVD 4181 - 4187 

Urbanized. 2012.  1 videodisc (82 min.). Documents the issues and strategies behind the design of cities. Hear from some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. Discover the challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy that are fast becoming universal concerns. Explore a diverse range of urban design projects around the world which will frame a global discussion on the future of cities.  "Creating a humane environment through design ... will be the challenge" in the twenty-first century. DVD 9021

Video out. 2005.  1 videodisc (86 min.). "From the psychedelic light shows of the 1960's to the heady, early days of experimental video art and New York's nascent Soho Scene to today's techno underground, "Video Out" explores the world of live video. Underground artists and entertainers from today's club and rave scene talk about their creative roots, their tribulations and their dreams. Hear tales of the 'Homeboy Shopping Network' and flamethrowers in illegal clubs. Follow talented young pixel pushers who dream of moving up to the world of fine art and big money. Their work plays throughout as avant-garde video artists and clubland VJ's tell the story of live video art over the last thirty years"--film's website. DVD 4169

Vincent: The life and death of Vincent Van Gogh. 1987.  1 videodisc (99 min.). This brilliant portrait of Vincent Van Gogh is a shattering journey through the life of a tortured genius who, spurned in his own time, became the single most influential artist of modern history.  DVD 4845

W.A.R: Women art revolution. 2010.  1 videodisc (83 min.). History of the feminist art movement in the late 20th century, including interviews with many of the participants. DVD 8797

Ways of seeing. 1974?  4 videodiscs (120 min). Consists of four programs, each presenting the classical arts, particularly European paintings, in different contemporary terms. Considers the ways paintings are distorted by the mass media that transmits them, examines the ways in which women are portrayed  in art, discusses paintings as material possessions, and shows how paintings are used in advertising. Program 1:  Discusses the uniqueness of paintings and how they have been distorted and transformed by the camera and printing press. -- Program 2:  Focuses on the nudes in European oil paintings to show how men see women and how women view themselves. -- Program 3:  Discusses paintings and possessions and links them with modern advertising. -- Program 4:  Explores how modern advertising uses the techniques and images portrayed in old masterpieces.             DVD 9571-9574

Westbeth home of the arts. 2011.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (30 min.). Streaming video.;1756034

Who gets to call it art? The legend of Henry Geldzahler, 1935-1994. 2005.  1 videodisc (80 min.). Artists active in the 1960's discuss their art and the significance of curator Henry Geldzahler in recognizing and collecting the art of those years. Includes comments by Geldzahler. DVD 4253

Wild style. 2002.  1 videodisc (82 min.). Wild Style tells the story of street artists in the South Bronx who put on a large outdoor performance to showcase their unique talents: graffiti, hip hop, and break dancing. The plot concerns the tension between graffiti artist Zoro's passion for his art, and his personal life, particularly his strained relationship with fellow graffiti artist, Rose. DVD 5799

William Eggleston in the real world. 2005.  1 videodisc (84 min.). The film shows a deep connection between Eggleston's enigmatic personality and his groundbreaking work, and also reveals his parallel commitments as a musician, draftsman, and videographer. Eggleston at age 65 become an icon and inspiration to artists. DVD 1830

William Kentridge anything is possible. 2010.  1 videodisc (60 min.). "William Kentridge: anything is possible" provides a rare, in-depth look at the life and work of the internationally acclaimed South African artist, William Kentridge. Working in a variety of media--including sculpture, drawing, animation, tapestry, film, theater, and opera--Kentridge tackles a broad range of subjects, from cataclysmic historical events to poignant personal moments. DVD 7962 

William Kentridge drawing the passing. 2005.  Video artists, video art: Video artists, video art.  1 videodisc (52 min.). sd., col. with b&w sequences. In this program, artist, filmmaker, and dramatist William Kentridge demonstrates his remarkable filmmaking technique--top-action animation using photos of charcoal drawings in which he has erased and redrawn scenes in different arrangements--as he works on Stereoscope. Footage from that piece as well as from History of the Main Complaint; Felix in Exile; Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old; Mine; and Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris powerfully illustrates his abiding concerns with the sociopolitical legacy of racial oppression and colonialism in South Africa. The film clips also reveal how his polemical "drawings for projection" evoke a nuanced sense of time's passage as each image builds upon the shadowy remnants of prior ones--Publisher description. DVD 7190

William Wegman video: Works, 1970-1999. 2006.  2 videodiscs (236 min.). These discs present an exhaustive archive of artist William Wegman's innovative, influential, and often hilarious performances, both with and without his Weimaraner friend, Man Ray. Inspired by the oblique humor of the 1950s comedians Bob and Ray and the atmosphere of experimentation in the art of the 1960s, reacting to the endless reductions of multiple -ism's sweeping through the art world, these pieces are a cross-over form of visual art that had almost no precedent and that received favorable critical notice from a wide audience of art lovers. DVD 10877

A world of art works in progress. 1997.  10 videodiscs (250 min.). Each program in this art appreciation series is devoted to a contemporary artist who takes one or more works of art from start to finish. Listening to the artists and observing their working process provides insight into the artworks themselves. The series emphasizes effective visual communication, problem solving, and critical thinking as large, often collaborative, projects are seen through to completion. The series includes painting, photography, sculpture, video, and performance art. DVD 9581 - 9588

Yayoi Kusama: I love me. 2008.  1 videodisc (102 min.). Documentary showing Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama at work. DVD 8812

Yellow ox mountain. 2007.  1 online resource (27 min.). China is a country where dissenting voices have been systematically purged and propaganda efficiently woven into every aspect of life. Art has often served as a political tool, particularly during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) following Mao's direct orders. This politically turbulent atmosphere drove many contemporary Chinese artists to emigrate to New York City. Yellow Ox Mountain is a documentary that portrays the artistic endeavors and the personal journeys of two such artists, Zhang Hongtu (b. 1943) and Zhang Jian-Jun (b. 1955), who are part of the Chinese contemporary art community of New York. They were determined to escape from the artistic leash imposed by Chinese cultural control. Each expresses through his art his different experience of the Cultural Revolution, as well as his own personal background. Yet there is a shared sense of constant cultural negotiation as they concurrently look back to their traditions and forward to the multifaceted creative influence of New York. Streaming video.;1655064