MARIA’S COMET 1847 iv is dedicated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of International with special thanks to the Maria Mitchell Association
Independently produced by MUSEUMVIEWS Productions
MARIA’S COMET 1847 iv (IMDb) is a short film by American curator and filmmaker Homa Taj (IMDb) based on a poem of the same name by Frank J Cunningham. The poem is inspired by Cunningham’s experience as a “Big Brother” as well as the life & work of Maria Mitchell, America’s first professional female astronomer.
“Maria Mitchell (pronounced Ma-RYE-ah) was an astronomer, librarian, naturalist, and above all, educator… On October 1st, 1847, Maria was sweeping the sky from the roof of the Pacific National Bank on Main Street, Nantucket, where her father was a cashier. She spotted a small blurry object that did not appear on her charts. She had discovered a comet! After achieving her fame, Maria was widely sought after and went on to achieve many great things. She resigned her post at the Nantucket Atheneum in 1856 to travel throughout the US and Europe. In 1865, she became Professor of Astronomy at the newly-founded Vassar College. Comet 1847-VI informally known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet,” was the event that made Maria famous. She was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1848 as a result.” Courtesy Maria Mitchell Association
MARIA’S COMET 1847iv is one in a trilogy of short films based on Cunningham’s poetic oeuvre celebrating the arts and cultural heritage of Nantucket Island which includes Nantucket Historic District, designated a National Historic Landmark, in 1966.
The film stars Skyler Kardell and Susan McGinnis with special appearance by Doctor Vladimir Strelnitski, at the Maria Mitchell Association Loines Observatory, on Nantucket. Frank J Cunningham was invited to perform MARIA’S COMET 1847 VI at the Maria Mitchell Association by its Director, in August 2008.
For more details about the film, the poet, the filmmakers, the cast and other information, please visit our website.
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