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Eadweard Muybridge (Critical Lives)


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Best known for his contribution to the development of the motion picture, Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was a pioneering photographer during his lifetime. Alongside his remarkable photographic achievements, his personal life was riddled with melodrama—including a near-fatal stagecoach accident and a betrayal by his wife that ended with Muybridge being tried for the murder of her lover. Marta Brauns revealing biography traces the sensational events of Muybridges life and his personal reinventions as artist, photographer, researcher, and showman.

In the 1870s, Muybridges photography skills were enlisted by Leland Stanford, a racehorse breeder who later founded Stanford University, to prove the “unsupported motion controversy”—the theory that during a horses stride, there was a moment when all four of its legs left the ground. The resulting collection of motion studies, as Braun explains, inspired Muybridge to take photography beyond landscapes to the realm of science. He went on to invent the zoopraxiscope, which captures movement too quick for the human eye to record. Most importantly, simulating motion through a series of stills, his pioneering use of sequence photography served as a forerunner to the introduction of cinematography in the 1890s.

This illuminating study examines a man whose influence has resounded through generations. In Eadweard Muybridge, Braun firmly establishes Muybridges central contributions to the history of art, science, photography, and motion pictures.



About the Author

Marta Braun is professor at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the author of Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey and Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science.

Table of Contents


1   Kingston to California

2   Helios in America

3   The Wild Wild West

4   Love, Loss and Central America

5   Panoramic San Francisco

6   Stopping Time on Stanford's Ranch

7   Touring Europe

8   Making Animal Locomotion

9   Final Years


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Photo Acknowledgements

Product Details

Braun, Marta
Reaktion Books
Artists, Architects, Photographers
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Edition Description:
Reaktion Books - Critical Lives
Publication Date:
40 halftones
7.88 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers
Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers

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