Eadweard Muybridge (Kingston upon Thames 1830-1904) was one of the World's most innovative and influential photographic pioneers, whose extensive studies of humans and animals in motion laid the cornerstones for the invention of cinema and continue to inspire us to this day.
For most of his professional career Muybridge lived and worked in the United States, but bequeathed his personal collection of material to his hometown in England. Held at Kingston Museum & Archive, this important collection includes his original Zoopraxiscope machine and unique glass discs; many personalised lantern slides; collotype prints; rare early albums; a copy of his epic San Franscisco Panorama; his own scrapbook in which he charts his entire career; and many other items that make this collection of major international significance.
Muybridge's groundbreaking work remains a key inspiration to practitioners across an array of interdisciplinary fields. As a key element of Muybridge in Kingston, the Stanley Picker Gallery is celebrating his lifetime's achievements through the eyes of two contemporary artists who have been given privileged access to rare material held at the Kingston Museum archives. These new commissions provide us with twenty-first Century perspectives on a world-class historical collection, and explore new ways to consider the ongoing impact of Muybridge's influential work.
Taking inspiration from ambiguities in his life-story, artist Becky Beasley presents an installation of new works that reflect upon the end of Muybridge's life after his truly epic experiences in the American West. Beasley has attempted to trace an origin to a myth that, at the time of his death, Muybridge was constructing a scale model of the American Great Lakes in his back garden in Kingston.
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