DOI link for Auspicious Beginnings
Auspicious Beginnings book
This chapter examines Adam K. Beckett’s formative years as he begins his extraordinary journey to becoming a pioneering animation artist. The cultural context of 1950s Los Angeles and the impact of his family’ sojourn to India and Europe are considered. He was born into a well-to-do and artistic family. His father was the award-winning architect William Sutherland Beckett, and his mother, Julianne Kemper Beckett, was an avid art collector. The young Beckett lived with the works of artists such as John Altoon, George Herms, Ynez Johnston, and Joseph Cornell. He attended the progressive Westland and Oakwood Schools. His early friendships included Mark Whitney, son of motion graphics pioneer John, Whitney, Sr.; John Koenig, musician and record producer; and Tom Schiller, an early writer for Saturday Night Live. His firsthand knowledge of Whitney’s experiments on film would be later acknowledged as an influence in his own independent animation. This, and following chapters, is the result of meticulous research, including the documentation and study of his numerous drawings, sketchbooks, prints, and notebooks from his early years onward.