Eadweard Muybridge, Group of Indians (489), 1868. Two albumen silver prints on studio card. Collection of Leonard A. Walle.
Eadweard Muybridge, Ruins of the Church of San Domingo, Panama, 1875. Albumen silver print. Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mitchell and Nancy Steir, 2004.163.10.
Eadweard Muybridge, Child, running. Plate 469, 1887. Collotype on paper. Corcoran, Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Museum Purchase, 87.7.430.
Eadweard Muybridge, Buena Vista Vineyard, Sonoma (4167), 1871-72, from Lone Mountain College Collection, Album 3, 1873. Albumen silver prints mounted in album. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1971.055, Series 1, Volume 3.
Eadweard Muybridge, Athletes. Swinging Pick. Plate 110, 1879, from The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881. Albumen silver print mounted on paper. Partial Gift of The Beinecke Foundation, Inc. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.
Eadweard Muybridge, Fort Wrangle, 1868. Albumen silver print. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1905.17137:146 – pic.
Eadweard Muybridge, Leland Stanford, Jr. on his Pony 'Gypsy' – Phases of a Stride by a Pony While Cantering, 1879. Collodion positive on glass. Wilson Centre for Photography.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
in a Time of Change
April 10-July 18, 2010
Best known for his groundbreaking studies of animals and humans in motion, 19th century English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was also an innovative and successful landscape and survey photographer, documentary artist, inventor and war correspondent.
This spring, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC premiers the first ever retrospective to examine all aspects of artist Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering photography. Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change brings together more than 300 objects created between 1857 and 1893, including Muybridge’s only surviving Zoopraxiscope — an apparatus he designed in 1879 to project motion pictures — exhibited in the United States for the first time at the Corcoran.
The exhibition was organized by the Corcoran and curated by Philip Brookman, chief curator and head of research.
Born in Kingston upon Thames, England in 1830, Muybridge immigrated to the United States around 1851. He worked as a bookseller in New York and San Francisco, and returned to London in 1860 following a serious injury. Muybridge learned photography in Britain and returned to the United States by 1867 where began his career as a photographer in San Francisco. He gained recognition through his innovative landscape photographs, which showed the grandeur and expansiveness of the American West. Between 1867 and 1871, these were published under the pseudonym “Helios.”
Muybridge spent most of his career in San Francisco and Philadelphia during a time of rapid industrial and technological growth. In the 1870s, he developed new ways to stop motion with his camera. Muybridge’s legendary sequential photographs of running horses helped to change how people saw the world. His projected animations inspired the early development of cinema, and his revolutionary techniques produced timeless images that have profoundly influenced generations of photographers, filmmakers and visual artists.
“The enormous impact of Muybridge’s photographs can be found throughout modern art, from paintings and sculptures by Thomas Eakins, Edgar Degas, Umberto Boccioni, Marcel Duchamp, and Francis Bacon, to the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix and the music video for U2’s hit song Lemon,” Brookman said.
Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change includes numerous vintage photographs, albums, stereographs, lantern slides, glass negatives and positives, patent models, Zoopraxiscope discs, proof prints, notes, books, and other ephemera. The exhibition is brought together from 38 different collections.
The exhibition features a number of Muybridge’s photographs of Yosemite Valley, including dramatic waterfalls and mountain views from 1867 and 1872, images of Alaska, the Pacific coast, an 1869 survey of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads in California, Nevada and Utah, the Modoc War, Panama and Guatemala, and urban panoramas of San Francisco.
Visitors can also see examples from Muybridge’s experimental series of sequential stop-motion photographs such as Attitudes of Animals in Motion, 1881, and his later masterpiece Animal Locomotion, 1887.
The show is structured in a series of thematic sections that present the chronology of Muybridge’s career, the evolution of his unique sensibility, the foundations of his experimental approach to photography, and his connections to other people and events that helped guide his work. The sections include: Introduction: The Art of Eadweard Muybridge (1857-1887), The Infinite Landscape: Yosemite Valley and the Western Frontier (1867-1869), From California to the End of the Earth: San Francisco, Alaska, the Railroads, and the Pacific Coast (1868-1872), The Geology of Time: Yosemite and the High Sierra (1872), Stopping Time: California at the Crossroads of Perception (1872-1878), War, Murder, and the Production of Coffee: the Modoc War and the Development of Central America (1873-1875), Urban Panorama (1877-1880), The Horse in Motion (1877-1881), Motion Pictures: the Zoopraxiscope (1879-1893), Animal Locomotion (18831893).
Following its debut at the Corcoran, •Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change• travels to Tate Britain in London from September 8 through January 16, 2011, and to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from February 26 through June 7, 2011.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, and includes essays by Philip Brookman, Marta Braun, Corey Keller, Rebecca Solnit, and an introduction by Andy Grundberg. Published by Steidl, the book is available for purchase in the Corcoran Shop or at www.corcoran.org/shop. $80.
Eadweard Muybridge, Falls of the Yosemite. From Glacier Rock. (Great Grizzly Bear). 2600 feet fall. No. 36, 1872. Albumen silver print. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1962.019:36 – ffalb.
Eadweard Muybridge, First-Order Light-house at Punta de los Reyes, Seacoast of California, 296 Feet Above Sea (4136), 1871. Albumen silver print. U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office.