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Cyanotype from Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion portfolio: Emptying Pitcher, Woman Nude, Series negative 1505

Eadweard Muybridge's Working Proofs

Capturing movement on film
Photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge named this set of 36 working proofs "Dancing (fancy), Woman Draped." The proofs are part of a photographic portfolio the expatriate Englishman called Animal Locomotion. Hired by California railroad baron and racehorse owner Leland Stanford in 1872, the eccentric Muybridge used photography to prove that there was a moment in a horse's gallop when all four hooves were off the ground at once. He spent much of his later career at the University of Pennsylvania, producing thousands of images that capture progressive movements within fractions of a second. For a hundred years, historians have considered these photographs to be scientific studies of the body in motion. However, the Smithsonian's collection of Muybridge's working proofs prove that he manipulated his data: He freely reprinted, cropped, deleted, or substituted negatives to make his final prints.

Eadweard Muybridge, born April 9, 1830, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey,England; died May 8, 1904, Kingston upon Thames
Born Edward James Muggeridge but adopted the name Eadweard Muybridge, believing it to be the original Anglo-Saxon form of his name.
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Learn more!
· Eadweard Muybridge
· Freeze Frame: Eadweard Muybridge's Photography of Motion, an NMAH Virtual Exhibition
· Edward Muybridge Birthplace and Museum

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