Eadweard Muybridge  (American/British, 1830-1904) 

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Eadweard Muybridge (British, April 9, 1830–May 8, 1904) was born Edward James Muggeridge, in Kingston upon Thames, England. He was a photographer known for his pioneering work in animal locomotion. Using multiple cameras between 1877 and 1878, Muybridge captured this motion in stop-action photographs. Muybridge also created the zoopraxiscope, a device used for displaying motion pictures. Muybridge was also known for landscape photography, and, in 1873, he was commissioned by the United States Army to photograph the Modoc War. Muybridge was a pioneer of the Motion Picture Photography Movement. The artist moved to San Francisco, CA, in 1855, and started a career with the London Printing and Publishing Company as a bookseller and publisher's agent.

In 1860, Muybridge was injured in a stagecoach accident. Between 1862 and 1866, while recuperating in England, Muybridge became interested in professional photography. During this time, Muybridge may have been influenced by photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815?1879). Muybridge learned the wet-plate collodion process in England, and, during his stay, he secured two patents for his inventions. On his return to San Francisco, CA, Muybridge converted a light carriage vehicle and used it as a darkroom. In 1880, while at the University of Pennsylvania, PA, Muybridge produced over 100,000 pictures of humans and animals in motion. His work influenced many visual artists who joined the formidable Motion Picture Photography Movement.

In 1884, Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (American, 1844?1916) worked as an assistant to Muybridge, learning more about motion pictures and subsequently making great contributions to the Motion Picture Photography Movement. In 1872, collaboration on photographic studies between Leland Stanford, the California governor and founder of Stanford University, and Muybridge led to the development of a camera with better shutter speed, and to the successful photograph of a horse at a trot. In 1887, Muybridge published his groundbreaking series of 20,000 photographs in a collection titled Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements. This work led to developments in the science of biomechanics. In 1888, Thomas Alva Edison (American, 1847?1931) was inspired by the work of Muybridge; Alva went on to invent the motion picture camera. In 1894, Muybridge returned to England permanently, and published two books that became hugely popular: Animals in Motion (1899) and The Human Figure in Motion (1901). Muybridge died in Kingston upon Thames in 1904.

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Eadweard Muybridge, "Gazelle" walking, spaving, right hind leg

 

Eadweard Muybridge
"Gazelle" walking, spaving, right hind leg
1872-1885

Robert Koch Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Ascending a stepladder

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Ascending a stepladder
1872-1885

Robert Koch Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion
1887

Laurence Miller Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion
1887

Laurence Miller Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Fencers, from Human and Animal Locomotion
1887

Laurence Miller Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Jumping, standing broad jump

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Jumping, standing broad jump
1887

Fraenkel Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Stepping on and over a trestle

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Stepping on and over a trestle
1887

Fraenkel Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Baboon walking on all fours

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Baboon walking on all fours
1887

Fraenkel Gallery
Eadweard Muybridge, Ostrich running

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Ostrich running
1887

Fraenkel Gallery
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Eadweard Muybridge, Nude baseball player, plate 279

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Nude baseball player, plate 279, 1887
collotype

 

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Eadweard Muybridge, Pair of plates from Animal Locomotion, both featuring women, plate numbers 185 and 187 (pair)

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Pair of plates from Animal Locomotion, both featuring women, plate numbers 185 and 187 (pair), 1887
collotypes

 

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Eadweard Muybridge, Animal Locomotion

 

Eadweard Muybridge
Animal Locomotion, 1887
collotype

 

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1830   Born Edward James Muggeridge at Kingston upon Thames, England.
1855   Arrived in San Francisco, starting his career as a publisher's agent and bookseller.
1867   Began to build his reputation with photos of Yosemite and San Francisco.
1868   Commissioned to photograph one of the U.S. Army's expeditions.
1874   Still living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Muybridge discovered that his wife had a lover, a Major Harry Larkyns. On October 17, he sought out Larkyns; said, "Good evening, Major, my name is Muybridge and here is the answer to the letter you sent my wife"; he then followed and killed the Major with a gunshot. He was aquitted after a plea of instanity resulting from an injury due to a stage coach accident.
1877   Returned to the United States after photographing Central America.

Started to experiment with photographing motion in response to former Governor of California Leland Stanford, a businessman and race-horse owner's question of whether all four of a horse's hooves left the ground at the same time during a gallop.
1878   Successfully photographed a horse in fast motion.
1894   Returned to his native England.
1904   Died on May 8 in Kingston upon Thames while living at the home of his cousin Catherine Smith.
2010   25 Years / 25 Works, Wessel + O’Connor Fine Arts, Lambertville, NJ
2010   Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, England

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
2009   Münchner Stadtmuseum - Sammlung Fotografie, Muchen, Germany
2008   Ton Peek Photography, Pa Utrecht, Netherlands (solo)
2007   Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC (solo)
2005   Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY (solo)
2005   Men, Women and Animals, Wessel O’Connor Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2004   The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
2003   Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1998   Men in Motion, Wessel O’Connor Gallery, New York, NY (solo)