Filmmakers Jane Anderson, Michelle Boyaner, Barbara Green and Tess Ayers in attendance
What kind of world would we live in if people didn’t open old trunks found in attics? Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jane Anderson made it her mission to recover and bring to light the amazing artwork of her great aunt Edith Lake Wilkinson, long forgotten in such a trunk.
Committed to an insane asylum in 1924, most likely because she was a lesbian, Wilkinson was conveniently forgotten by the male-dominated art world. Anderson, along with her partner, Tess Ayers, take us on their journey as they uncover family secrets, social repression and secret loves. Right before her commitment, Wilkinson was at the height of her creativity, living among the legendary arts community of early 1900s Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Director Michelle Boyaner’s Packed in a Trunk is beautifully shot and shows Provincetown at its best. The town comes together to celebrate Aunt Edith’s work in a newly mounted show at the same gallery where her work had originally hung. It slowly becomes clear that she may have been the originator of a well-known “white line” wood block technique that would have placed her firmly in the art history books. Anderson makes it her mission to ensure her aunt’s legacy will be preserved, leaving no chance that it will ever end up in a trunk again.
Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson: Dir Michelle Boyaner 2015 USA 78 min
Community Partners: Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest; PDX Lesbian Network; Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival