He Makes Their Personalities Jump off the Screen July 16, 2015

Albert Maysles passed away in March, but his phenomenal filmmaking lives on at the Museum this summer. Want to meet some of his most flamboyant subjects? Join us for our screenings of Grey Gardens (July 26) and Iris (August 30).

Albert Maysles

About Albert
The late, great cinematographer/director/producer (1926–2015) and his brother, David (1931–1987), became one of the best nonfiction filmmaking teams in American cinema. They codirected important documentaries and are probably best known for Gimme Shelter, the 1970 concert film about the Rolling Stones.

Albert's path to filmmaking has roots in his psychology degree. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II and graduating college, he became an assistant to cinéma vérité pioneer Robert Drew. “I think my training taught me above all to be unprejudiced,” Albert said. “Psychology was social science, and so in a way, my work has always combined a kind of scientific approach with art.”

 Grey Gardens

About the Edies
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis approached the Maysles brothers to propose a documentary about her life as a Bouvier. They agreed to make the film but then realized that her wacky aunt and cousin would be much better subjects. Grey Gardens (1976) focuses on the reclusive Beales—a mother and middle-aged daughter, both named Edie—who live in squalor in a crumbling mansion in East Hampton, New York.


About Iris
Maysles's final film, Iris (2014), focuses on colorful New York style maven Iris Apfel. As a child, she helped her father design store windows, and when she began her own business, her projects included working with several first ladies at the White House. Iris transformed textiles into clothing and jewelry, and she became a self-described “geriatric starlet” after New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art showcased her collections in a wildly popular exhibition in 2005. Iris's 94th birthday is August 29—the day before our screening!

Meet Them at the MFAH
Grey Gardens screens in conjunction with QFest on Sunday, July 26.
Our first presentation of Iris sold out, so we're showing it again—twice!—on Sunday, August 30.
► Tickets, trailers & more info > mfah.org/films