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Eadweard Muybridge

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Eadweard Muybridge

British, (1830–1904)
Eadweard Muybridge was a British photographer known for his groundbreaking work in the field of motion-picture projection. Using multiple cameras, Muybridge famously captured the gait of a trotting horse, then with a device of his own invention, the zoopraxiscope, projected a moving image. Born Edward James Muggeridge on April 9, 1830 in Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 20. In 1855, he adopted the name Eadweard Muybridge as he believed it sounded more Anglo-Saxon. Having been in America for a decade, it was on his way to New York to sail back to England, that he suffered a serious head injury in a stagecoach accident. From 1862 and 1866, while recuperating in England, Muybridge taught himself several photography techniques. Set on making a living through photography, he returned to San Francisco in 1867. Here he successfully marketed large-scale photos of the Yosemite Valley, which gained him national attention. Through the 1870s and 1880s, while being tried for the murder of his wife’s lover, Muybridge perfected his photographic studies of animal locomotion. He was later acquitted of murder, on the grounds of justifiable homicide. Notably, the young painter Thomas Eakins worked as an assistant to Muybridge, during his time at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1894, he returned to England, and lived out his life lecturing throughout the country until his death on May 8, 1904 in Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom.

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