Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change

February 26-June 07, 2011

Best known for his revolutionary studies of human and animal locomotion, which evolved into some of the earliest motion pictures, Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was also an accomplished landscape photographer, a pioneering documentarian, and a restlessly inventive entrepreneur. This retrospective is the first to examine the full scope of Muybridge's vision and his pivotal role in the creative transformation of 19th-century culture. The British-born Muybridge began his artistic career in the 1860s in California — then as now a fertile ground for innovation — and his images vividly capture a rapidly changing West. Bringing together hundreds of photographs and other objects made between 1858 and 1893, the exhibition offers a panoramic view of Muybridge's work within the landscape of his times.

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The San Francisco presentation is made possible by generous support from Martha and Bruce Atwater. Additional support provided by the George Frederick Jewett Foundation.

  • Muybridge, grid of photos of men playing leap frog
    Eadweard Muybridge, Jumping over boy's back (leap frog). Plate 169, 1887; collotype on paper; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., museum purchase, 87.7.169
  • Muybridge, photo of Yosemite waterfall
    Eadweard Muybridge, Pi-Wi-Ack. Valley of the Yosemite. (Shower of Stars) Vernal Fall. 400 Feet Fall. No. 29, 1872; albumen print; collection San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; gift of Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt
  • Muybrdige, silhouette of man riding horse with man chasing behind
    Eadweard Muybridge, Leland Stanford, Jr. on His Pony "Gypsy" Phases of a Stride by a Pony While Cantering, 1879; collodion positive on glass; Wilson Centre for Photography