cinematic / Gus Blaisdell Memorial Library
arts Books & periodicals.
When Cinematic Arts moved into the CERIA building in 2005 one room was left for Gus to remind readers of his energy for books, learning, and knowledge. It has genres ranging from Latin American Studies, Film Theory, Marilyn Monroe and Vampires. We gladly consider donations.
This reading room is located in the CERIA Building, Room 356. If you would like to stop by please contact the main office prior to arriving. The main office is open 9am - 6pm, Monday thru Friday.
by Ira Jaffe, Professor Emeritus
BLAISDELL -- Gus Blaisdell, writer and educator, died in Albuquerque on September 17, 2003, four days before his 68th birthday. Blaisdell created and taught popular courses in cinema studies such as Teen Rebels and Poetry and Radical Film for almost 25 years at The University of New Mexico, where his work helped to establish a program and then a department in media arts. Blaisdell also taught in the Department of Art and Art History, and served at UNM on numerous master's degree and doctoral committees. Previously Blaisdell had taught philosophy and mathematics for six years at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro.
Blaisdell's publications were as various as his teaching. His critical essays addressed still photography, motion pictures, painting, and philosophy, among other subjects, and he lectured widely in Europe and the United States. His book with photographer Lewis Baltz entitled Park City was published by Leo Castelli Gallery of New York City in 1981; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art published his monograph on painter Guy Williams the following year. A former student of literary critic Yvor Winters at Stanford University, Blaisdell also composed books of poetry and fiction, including Fractionally Awake Monad, Prose Ocean, and Dented Fenders, all in the 1970s.
Blaisdell savored friendships with internationally renowned figures in the arts and humanities, including Baltz, philosopher Stanley Cavell, the writer Evan Connell, poet Robert Creeley, and art critic Max Kozloff. Along with his teaching and writing, Blaisdell was proprietor for many years of the Living Batch bookstore, founded by Pancho Elliston, where Allen Ginsberg and other poets read and discussed their work amid the Batch's legendary cornucopia of new and used books. Blaisdell also ran Living Batch Press, publisher of handsome, spacious books of poetry and prose by Clark Coolidge, Ronald Johnson, Geoffrey Young and others. As much as anything, Blaisdell relished warm and witty conversation, often conducted in the public sphere.
He would meet friends, colleagues, and students in popular Central Avenue restaurants near UNM and Nob Hill to take up sundry topics of the day such as movies and politics. He seemed to value the raw, theatrical space of the boulevard as much as he did the classroom, though privacy and quiet were also essential to him. Born in San Diego, he became an unusually visible, vital presence in Albuquerque, the city he adopted in 1964 and came to love and serve. He died of a sudden heart attack on Central Avenue. Gus Blaisdell is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Blaisdell; his children, Shawn, Luc and Casey Blaisdell of Albuquerque; Nicole Blaisdell-Ivey of Bozeman, Montana; their mother, Sally Blaisdell; and his stepdaughter, Alexandra Freedman-Smith. A memorial service will be held at the UNM Alumni Chapel on Tuesday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. Donations in Blaisdell's memory can be made to the UNM Department of Media Arts to establish the Gus Blaisdell Scholarship in Critical Writing.