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Facing the Lens: Eadweard Muybridge

Posted on by tamsp

Eadweard Muybridge
American, born England, 1830-1904
Animal Locomotion Plate 519, 1887
Gift of Samuel C. Gale, William H. Hinkle, Albert Loring, Charles M. Loring, Charles J. Martin, and Charles Alfred Pillsbury 81.76.66

Born Edward Muggeridge in England, Muybridge came to the United States when he was about twenty-two and settled in San Francisco. He became one of this country’s most accomplished nineteenth-century photographers, creating two important bodies of work. The first was his 16 x 20-inch “mammoth-plate” albumen prints of Western landscapes, including scenes in Yosemite Valley during the 1860s. The second comprised his motion studies, which commenced when he was commissioned by former California Governor Leland Stanford (namesake to the university) to photograph a trotting horse to determine the positions of its hooves during full stride. His success led the University of Pennsylvania to sponsor his examination of humans and animals in motion. The result was the publication in 1887 of nearly eight hundred plates, such as this one, in which Muybridge is the subject, captured by a bank of cameras, intended as an aid to scientists and artists.

Facing the Lens: Portraits of Photographers is on view January 21—August 28, 2011 in the Harrison Photography Gallery 365.

Audio Tour
Eight photographers featured as subjects in the show talk about photography and their work. Hear them on your mobile device at

Participate in the Exhibition
Upload your self-portrait or photos of photographers to the MIA’s Facing the Lens group on Flickr. Your photos will be featured in the gallery and also on the MIA’s Web site. Please include your name, title of photo, and the date the photo was taken.
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