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Eadweard Muybridge & Harold Edgerton: Photographing Motion

Event Details

Eadweard Muybridge & Harold Edgerton: Photographing Motion

Time: October 16, 2010 to January 16, 2011
Location: Reading Public Museum
Street: 500 Museum Road
City/Town: Reading, PA 19611-1425
Website or Map: http://www.readingpublicmuseu…
Phone: 610-371-5850
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Reading Public Museum
Latest Activity: Oct 14, 2010

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Event Description

The Reading Public Museum (in the US, and not in Berkshire!) has long held in its collection the remarkable complete photographic portfolio of Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion. Comprised of 781 mounted prints, the images include studies of human figures and animals captured by Muybridge's innovative arrangement of multiple sequential cameras. The portfolio was sold to subscribers in 1887, and it may be that the Museum's founder, Dr. Levi Mengel, was one of those early subscribers, or that the portfolio came into the collection as a gift when the Museum opened in 1904. Muybridge's interest in using photography to reveal the details of motion otherwise invisible to the unaided eye would surely have appealed to Mengel's philosophy of learning through careful looking.

In 2010, the Museum received nine photographs by Dr. Harold "Doc" Edgerton, gifted by The Edgerton Family Foundation through Gus Kayafas, who studied and taught with Edgerton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Edgerton's invention of stroboscopic photography allowed fleeting actions, such as the passage of a bullet through an apple, to be captured on film with the aid of rapid light flashes.

The new acquisition of Edgerton's portfolio of motion studies produced in the mid-twentieth century has inspired this exhibition which features the complete Edgerton gift and a carefully chosen selection of Muybridge images. The combination of works by these two important American photographers provides an opportunity to see how motion photography was first invented by Muybridge, and expanded upon with new techniques by Doc Edgerton. This exhibition premiers previously undisplayed works from the Museum's growing collection of photographs, and foregrounds both the historic depth and recent expansion of the Museum's rich permanent holdings.

Guest curator Rachael Arauz holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught and lectured on the history of photography. She previously organized Masters of American Photography (2008) and, with co-curator Ronald C. Roth, Keith Haring: Journey of the Radiant Baby (2006) for the Reading Public Museum.

Photo: Harold Edgerton, Moving Skip Rope, 1952, gelatin silver, 88/125, 9 x 11", Reading Public Museum, Gift Edgerton Family Foundation

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