Karen Aqua (1954-2011) studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1970s and spent much of her career based in Somerville making award-winning short animated films exploring the themes of ritual, journeys, transformation, and the human spirit, as well as regularly contributing animated segments to Sesame Street. Much of her work reflects an interest in symbols, mythology, and prehistoric and tribal cultures, and includes elements of rhythm, dance, and music.
Upon her death from ovarian cancer in 2011, she left a large legacy of award-winning animated films. This collection, consisting of over 300 film and video items, arrived at the Harvard Film Archive in 2011. It includes projection prints, 16mm animation tests, workprints, video masters and access copies, and original audio elements.
A finding aid for the Karen Aqua Collection can be found here.