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Eadweard Muybridge
Men, Women and Animals
May 4 - June 18, 2005

Eadweard Muybridge, the eccentric Englishman who’s early pioneering photographic work presaged the advent of motion pictures, will be featured in an exhibit of his serial motion studies of Men, Women and Animals.

Muybridge (1830 - 1904) came to America at the age of 21 and worked with Carlton Watkins in San Francisco, taking survey photographs for the railroads as well as some of the earliest pictures of Yosemite. He gained widespread notoriety when he was tried and then acquitted of the murder of his wife’s lover.

In order to settle a $25,000. wager, he was hired by wealthy California racehorse owner (and former Governor) Leland Stanford to produce photographic evidence that, while running, a horse’s four legs all left the ground at the same time. He devised a series of 12 cameras that were triggered to instantaneously record split seconds of the horse’s movement. This took almost ten years to accomplish but would eventually lead him to create the body of work we know him best for today

Wanting to further continue the innovations he had realized, he spent three years at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, recording with as many as 36 separate cameras, men, women, animals, and even children performing simple tasks like walking, jumping, or just bending over.

Published in 1887 as "Animal Locomotion,” the 781 unique studies of were purchased by subscription and were collected by the likes of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the artist Augustus Saint Gaudens and even the King of Egypt and Emperor of China.

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Animal Locomotion Series: Plate # 621

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