last dozen years of Jerome Hill's life were arguably his most productive and
exciting. In addition to his artistic exploits, he started a philanthropic foundation
for the arts and humanities (the Avon Foundation), helped in founding a center designed
to preserve and promote avant-garde film (Anthology Film Archives), staged a
massive arts festival (Cassis Festival 1967), and renovated a nearby hotel property
for use by his Camargo Foundation in their housing of visiting scholars.
After the successful opening of his film "The Sand Castle," in 1961, Hill wanted to pursue another project in the same vein. In reading about Jung, ESP, and other theories on the subconscious, Hill had been fascinated by the idea of strong psychological links between identical twins. With this idea in the background, Hill turned to writing, creating a novel-length work called "Peacock Feathers." The manuscript was sent to publishers, with little success. Hill decided to rework the novel into a movie script, creating a project that was to appear in its final form as "Open the Door and See all the People." Along the way, the project was also called "The Identical Twins" and "Peacock Feathers." The movie opened in 1964 to mixed reviews; Hill would not attempt another major feature film.
Hill spent the rest of the 1960s painting and creating short films. His painting in this period showed a renewed energy and vibrant use of color. He was extremely prolific during this time, completing up to 20 paintings a year while keeping up his schedule of film work, travel and correspondence.
Toward the end of the decade, he began to think more concretely about his legacy and what he would leave behind. This had the effect, among others, of the decision to start work on his cinematic memoir, "Film Portrait."
The film opened in 1972, and was seen as a fitting statement of Hill's life. Profoundly personal, yet playful and experimental, the film represented both a step forward and a look back.
Hill died of cancer in November, 1972. He is buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, as are his parents.