Department of History of Art and Architecture
2013 to 2014
Moving Beyond Vision: Eadweard Muybridge in Philadelphia
Abstract: In 1884, Eadweard Muybridge arrived at the University of Pennsylvania to begin, as he described it, “a new and elaborate work upon the attitudes of man, the horse and other animals in motion.” For the next three years, Muybridge photographed the movements of bipeds and quadrupeds of every variety. The results were published in 1887 under the title Animal Locomotion. My study reassesses the Animal Locomotion motion studies by placing Muybridge’s investigations within the context of scientific research and experimentation conducted in and around the University during his tenure there, and examining the motion studies within the larger field of scientific images produced during the last decades of the nineteenth century. In particular, I argue that the questions Muybridge’s motion studies raised about the nature of reality, perception and representation were also fundamental to many other areas of artistic and scientific production at the time. Read more about Emily's research as a fellow of the Consortium here.