In Passing...Elfriede Fischinger
Elfriede traveled widely, lecturing with Oskar's paintings and films at such venues as the Montreal Expo of 1967, the Berlin Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Telluride, and the Venice Biennale 1982, as well as major animation festivals such as Ottawa and Zagreb. She received a Gold Medal from the President of Italy, and lifetime achievement awards from the Royal Academy of the Netherlands, the International animation society ASIFA and Women in Film. She was a juror for the Montpellier Festival of Abstract Film and the American Film Institute. She published half-a-dozen articles in magazines and art exhibition catalogues, and appeared in several television documentaries, including the CBS Camera III profile of Oskar Fischinger, the British Abstract Cinema, and the German Longing for Color about the development of various film color processes in the 1930s. She also gave generously of her time and support to things in Los Angeles: hosting many traveling filmmakers and scholars at her home in Laurel Canyon and later Long Beach; supporting Filmex, Theatre Vanguard, The Visual Music Alliance, The Goethe Institute (where she performed on Oskar's Lumigraph color organ); visiting classes at UCLA and Cal Arts; participating in symposiums at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Long Beach Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. She was bright and active until her last days -- helping to mount a show of Oskar's paintings at the Jack Rutberg Gallery; travelling to New York in November 1998 for Anthology Film Archive's "First Light" festival of abstract experimental film; attending screenings at the Goethe Institute of Baerbel Neubauer's films, and of Fritz Lang's Woman in the Moon, for which Oskar had done special effects.
Elfriede died quietly in her sleep at her home in Long Beach on the night of May 13, 1999. She is survived by two sons and two daughters, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was buried next to her husband in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City on May 19, 1999.
William Moritz teaches film and animation history at the California Institute of the Arts.