Over the course of his 41 years at the George Eastman Museum, Ed Stratmann gained an international reputation for the film preservation projects he championed. His work in the field will continue to impact future generations of archivists, students, and cinephiles.
During his decades at the Eastman Museum, Ed worked as projectionist and film inspector, associate curator, interim head of the Moving Image Department, and ultimately, Curator Emeritus. He began his tenure under the museum’s first director of the Film Department, James Card, whose tastes informed Ed’s working life.
Enamored as much with popular cinema as he was artistic merit, Ed had several passion projects that he preserved back to film and brought to audiences around the world. Each project has its own unique story involving the work that Ed did behind the scenes—researching, compiling, and editing—as well as communicating with archives and laboratories to achieve the best possible outcome for these projects.
This spring, in memory of Ed Stratmann (1953–2020), the Dryden is delighted to bring some of these projects back to the big screen, as well as some of the programs that Ed curated for lectures and screenings. We know that, just as the films he brought back from the edge of obscurity, Ed’s legacy will live on long after the curtain comes down.
Events in this Series
Ed Stratmann/Stacey Steers One of the greatest of silent films, The Wind is suffused with an elegiac quality due to the advent of sound. In his last silent directorial effort, director Victor Sjöström elicits one of the silent screen’s greatest performances from Lillian Gish (also in her last silent role).
Preservation Legacy: Ed Stratmann Mentored by the museum’s first film curator James Card, Ed Stratmann knew that he needed to get preserved and restored films in front of an audience for the process of preservation and restoration to truly be complete. So, when asked to curate programs, he did so with enthusiasm. Stratmann created this program as a look into the moving image treasures that exist within the museum’s vaults.