Laurence Miller Gallery presents a selection of 30 original collotypes by Eadweard Muybridge, from his Human and Animal Locomotion series. This work was a significant precursor to contemporary motion pictures. Both as detailed scientific study and as whimsical artistic expression, popular with 20th century artists and horse lovers as well, these animal and human motion studies appear as fresh today as when first published in Philadelphia in 1887. No wonder artists as diverse as Sol Lewitt, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon and Phillip Glass have been enthralled by this groundbreaking work.
To accomplish his goal of capturing motion in time-stop sequences, Muybridge developed a set of multiple cameras with synchronized shutters. In 1883, the University of Pennsylvania sponsored him to undertake the largest investigation yet of stop-action photography. Over the next three years, 20,000 individual photographs were taken, resulting in the publication of Human and Animal Locomotion, featuring 781 different collotype plates. A total of 37 complete sets were produced, and additional plates were sold individually and by subscription.
Major holdings of Muybridge collotypes are in the collections of prominent museums and libraries around the world. In the United States, these include the Library of Congress, Yale University, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and in New York – MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum, and the New York Public Library. In Europe, major Muybridge collections can be found at the British Library, the Cinémathèque Française, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musées de Strasbourg, and the Kingston Museum in Muybridge’s home town.