Oscar Winner Bob Gardiner Dead

Artist/writer/musician James Robbins “Bob” Gardiner, who won an Oscar for his 1974 clay-animated short film, Closed Mondays, died on April 21 at his home in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 54 years old.

Gardiner attended California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Calif. and went on to produce a number of clay animated commercials and public service announcements, as well as other art projects in Oregon, where he lived for nearly a decade. He also worked as a comedy writer on two Smothers Brothers television specials and some clay-animated TV productions.

Co-directed by Gardiner and Will Vinton, Closed Mondays took Best Animated Short Film at the 47th Annual Academy Awards and picked up other national and international honors. Gardiner wrote and co-produced the film, in which a man visits a museum and sees the works of art come to life. The short was included in the 1977 theatrical release Fantastic Animation Festival, a compilation of various animated works.

Gardiner is survived by his wife, two daughters and five siblings. There will be a memorial on April 30 at 12 noon, at the Chapel of the Angels, located at 250 Race Street in Grass Valley, Calif. There will also be a celebration of Garnier’s art and life in Portland, Oregon, at a date yet to be announced.