Discipline: Film/Video

St. Clair Bourne

Discipline: Film/Video
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1993, 1995

St. Clair C. Bourne (1943–2007) was an American documentary filmmaker who focused on African-American social issues and themes. He also developed projects that explored African-American cultural figures, such as Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson. Not only was Bourne a towering figure in the documentary film world but also an activist, teacher, and organizer. Born in Harlem, New York, he moved to Brooklyn when he was two years old. He completed two years at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service before joining the Peace Corps. In 1965, the Peace Corps sent Bourne to Peru where he helped publish a Spanish newspaper, El Comeno, in Comas, a settlement adjacent to Lima. The November 1965 issue of Ebony magazine featured an article about Bourne's efforts in Comas. Bourne graduated from Syracuse University in 1967 with a dual degree in journalism and political science. In 1988, a retrospective of his films was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In a 36-year career in which he made more than 40 films, either producing or directing or doing both, Bourne's works were seen on public television, commercial networks, and at film festivals around the country. His collection can be found at the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University in Bloomington.



St. Clair Bourne worked in the Garland studio.

Marian MacDowell and friends originally named this studio in memory of Anna Baetz, the nurse who helped care for Edward MacDowell in the waning years of his life. With generous support from the Garland family, the studio was renovated in 2013 and renamed the Peter and Mary Garland Studio. The inward opening, diamond-pane windows were replaced…

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