POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Adolfas Mekas, a member of the avant-garde New American Cinema movement of the 1960s and a longtime professor of film at Bard College, died Tuesday at age 85. The college said the Lithuanian-born artist died at a Poughkeepsie hospital. The cause of death was not released.
Mr. Mekas came to the United States in 1949 after being held in a Nazi concentration camp and later in displaced-persons camps in Germany, where he was able to study theater arts and literature.
He served as a still photographer in the US Army Signal Corps from 1951 to 1953. Mr. Mekas and his brother Jonas founded the journal Film Culture in 1954 and the Filmmakers’ Cooperative, an independent cinema distribution house.
Mr. Mekas was associated with the neo-Dadaist Fluxus movement and participated in the first Fluxus performance in 1961. He made several short films and then the comedy feature “Hallelujah the Hills’’
Mr. Mekas founded the film program at Bard in 1971 and directed it until 1994.