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Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West

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Emerging technology of the 19th century—photography, railroads, the telegraph, and the telephone—transformed and accelerated the world. Eadweard Muybridge was among those who dramatically influenced …

Emerging technology of the 19th century—photography, railroads, the telegraph, and the telephone—transformed and accelerated the world. Eadweard Muybridge was among those who dramatically influenced the concurrent changes in people’s perceptions and experiences. His photographs of horses in motion, the first to prove that all four feet are in the air during part of the stride, sparked a new medium and industry. Those seminal images, along with his many other timeless photos of the American West, lay the groundwork for motion pictures. Rebecca Solnit, author of River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, offers insight into the complex and colorful Muybridge, now considered the godfather of cinema.


This annual lecture recognizes a generous multiyear grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Terra Foundation is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts in the United States for national and international audiences


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  • Painting of Leland Standford, Muybridge’s patron, founder of Stanford
  • Philadelphia Motion Studies
  • Lone figure in the landscapeTRY TO FIND ONLINE version
  • Commercial picture of clocks
  • Cloud variations specimen 2
  • “The man was Muybridge”
  • Victorian family; children are blurry.
  • A Zeotrope example
  • Muybridge was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1830, his father was involved in the Barge business.
  • The invention of the railroad in 1830s
  • Ghost dance
  • Transcript

    • 1.    Eadweard Muybridgeand the Technological Wild West     2011  Terra  Founda.on  Lecture  in  American  Art   Lecturer:  Rebecca  Solnit   Chicago  Humani.es  Fes.val  

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