Gerald Mast (1940-1988), described as America’s film scholar laureate, was living in Greenwich Village in 1971 when he bought this house from Hannah Dale Henderson and Charlotte Dean of California for $52,000. He spent summers here with his partner, Peter Burnell, a classically trained actor who won his greatest renown as Mike Power on The Doctors, a daytime soap opera on NBC. (Mast is pictured above in the yard, with Pitti.) Their friend Alex Gildzen (b 1943), a poet, artist, playwright and blogger (Arroyo Chamisa), describes life here in a comment below. Gildzen himself wrote the poem Cats in Provincetown in this house, which he recounts in “Remembering Provincetown.” During Mast’s years here, he grew remarkably in stature with the publication of The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies and Film Theory and Criticism.
“Because of his writings on film history,” The Times said, “he is credited with helping establish the subject as a serious academic discipline.” (“Gerald Mast, 48, Dies; Wrote Histories of Film,” The New York Times, 2 September 1988.) It was the film critic Tag Gallagher who described Mast as America’s film scholar laureate. He was the chairman of the English department at the University of Chicago, his alma mater, at the time of his death from AIDS in 1988, a year after Burnell’s death at 44.
In 1990, Mast’s mother and sister sold this house to Frank X. Fisher, the president of Fisher Hotels in Provincetown, and his wife, Eleanore. • Map • Historic District Survey • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Updated 2013-08-20