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Curator’s Statement

Freeze Frame: Eadweard Muybridge’s Photography of Motion provides an introduction to the Smithsonian’s Muybridge collection. Specifically, the photographer’s locomotion studies of animals and humans conducted at the University of Pennsylvania 1884-1887. Current grant research has funded initial research on the more than 2,000 items in the collection, and this interactive exhibition. Museum visitors and web users are able to compare and contrast Muybridge’s working proofs and final prints for the first time.

Following a decade of conservation treatment, the collection is now available for researcher use. A collection database is being completed for the year 2001 to assist scholars and the general public in accessing the Smithsonian’s unique Muybridge photographs (cyanotype proofs, and glass positive composite plates).

Special thanks to my co-curators Marta Braun, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, and Elspeth Brown, University of Toronto, for their expertise and assistance in making this exhibition possible.

Michelle Anne Delaney
Exhibition Curator
National Museum of American History

Links to Related Sites
Eadweard Muybridge Birthplace and Museum virtual exhibition with biographical information and photographs
An overview of materials and photographs at the University of Pennsylvania Archives
Central Pacific Railroad’s Photographic History Museum contains examples of Muybridge’s stereo photography and materials on railroad entrepreneur Leland Stanford, who funded Muybridge’s initial motion studies.
The Sheldon Gallery at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln animates Muybridge’s Elephant Walking and provides additional Muybridge biography.
Eadweard Muybridge Model Research Project. PAGenWeb Project in conjunction with researchers at the National Museum of American History are attempting to locate descendants of the models Muybridge used. This site provides a list of the models and a message board in order for descendants to contact researchers directly with biographical information.

Further Reading

Braun, Marta. Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992

Haas, Robert B. Muybridge: Man in Motion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976

Mozley, Anita Ventura. Introduction to Eadweard Muybridge in Muybridge’s Complete Human and Animal Locomotion. New York: Dover, 1979

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Eakins and the Photograph: Works by Thomas Eakins in the Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994

Thomas, Ann, ed. Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997

On View

This exhibition is no longer on view.
It was on view October 7, 2000-March 15, 2001 in the Documentary Photography Gallery, third floor.

Copyright and Credits

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images are copyright � National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. See the Smithsonian copyright statement for more information on terms and conditions of use.

This exhibition is a collective effort by staff of the National Museum of American History and an independent team of experts in the field of photography. It presents an interpretation of historical evidence informed by scholarship and experience.

Michelle Delaney, NMAH

Marta Braun, Professor, School of Image Arts, Faculty of Applied Arts, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Elspeth Brown, Assistant Professor of History, University of Toronto

Marcia Powell

Nancy Growald Brooks

Carolyn Long

NMAH Exhibitions Program Production staff
Exhibits Services Group