The Corcoran presents the first ever retrospective of photographer and inventor Eadweard Muybridge.
By Julie LaPorte
Inventor, photojournalist, visual poet, early pioneer in motion pictures – Eadweard Muybridge was a man who captivated the attention of a generation undergoing a transformation during the tempestuous era of the Industrial Revolution. Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change will be on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art April 10 through July 18.
Born in England and trained in photography there, Muybridge established himself in San Francisco in 1867. His photography took him up and down the West Coast and throughout the gradually taming Wild West as well as to Panama and Guatemala. He recorded building projects, the Modoc War and the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. He also created breathtaking landscape photographs of America that offer a sense of grandeur and vastness even for audiences today.
Compiled from 38 different collections, Helios displays more than 300 objects, including Muybridge’s only surviving Zoopraxiscope on exhibit in the United States for the first time. With the collaboration of his patron-of-sorts Leland Stanford, Muybridge developed stop motion photography to capture animals in motion and then invented the Zoopraxiscope to reanimate these still photographs in projected moving pictures. It is this invention he is most well-known for.
“The enormous impact of Muybridge’s photographs can be found throughout modern art,” said Philip Brookman, chief curator and head of research. “From paintings and sculptures by Thomas Eakins, Edgar Degas, Umberto Boccioni, Marcel Duchamp, and Francis Bacon, to the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix and the music video for U2’s hit song Lemon.”
Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change will be on display at the Corcoran April 10 through July 18. In addition to the exhibit, the Corcoran has designed numerous education, lecture and creative programs that will bring Muybridge to life for visitors. The Corcoran also brings back Free Summer Saturdays when admission to the museum and its programs will be free of charge.