Muybridge, Eadweard


American, b. Great Britain, 1830–1904


During the late 1860s and 1870s, Eadweard Muybridge was regarded as one of the leading photographers of the American Western landscape. Based in San Francisco, Muybridge made spectacular large-format albumen photographs and stereographs of Yosemite Valley, Alaska, the California mining country, and the Modoc War. At the same time, however, he conducted bold experiments with time-lapse photography and full-circuit photographic panoramas. Beginning in 1872, Muybridge worked to devise camera shutters that would freeze motion on a single plate, and to secure sequential photographs of animals in movement. Muybridge's principal purpose in compiling this encyclopedia of poses was to provide detailed models for painters and sculptors showing animals and humans, naked and clothed, engaged in a wide range of activities. While he determined to isolate or freeze the succession of movements, the most spectacular outcome of Muybridge's studies was to make sequential still images appear to move, paving the way for the development of motion pictures. Taking his ambitious project to the University of Pennsylvania in 1884, Muybridge expanded his studies of human and animal movements, ultimately producing over 100,000 sequential photographs. Many of these were published in Muybridge's massive 11-volume portfolio Animal Locomotion, from which these photogravure plates are drawn.

Artworks by Muybridge, Eadweard

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