Born in Kingston, Eadweard Muybridge was one of the most influential photographers and inventors of all time.
In collaboration with Kingston Museum, In Kingston and Kingston First are proud to unveil a new exhibition about the life of Muybridge, along with details of Muybridge Festival, a week dedicated to celebrating the life and works of one of the town's most famous residents.
To find out more, take a look at the public exhibition on Clarence Street or visit the Kingston Museum on Wheatfield Way.
Join Kingston Museum for its third Muybridge Week Festival!
Muybridge Week celebrates the life and works of the Kingston-born photographer. All events are free to attend, but some events may require advance booking.
Saturday 25 May | 2 - 3.30pm
Make your own Animated Zoetrope! Animation Workshop by Tim Wheatley.
Learn how to make a Zoetrope, taking inspiration from Muybridge’s work. Tim Wheatley is an animator and illustrator who has worked on TV shows, like Peppa Pig and Footy Pups. Tim will teach the basics of animation and show you how to use just paper, pens and a smartphone to create a looping animation. Suitable for age 8 and over. Children need an adult to accompany them.
> Book online
Saturday 25 May | 2 – 3.30pm
Up Close, Handling Session with Museum Curator Seoyoung Kim and Stereo-Photographer David Ford. A rare opportunity to closely examine original Muybridge artefacts and learn about the 19th century stereoscopic photography. Suitable for all. No need to book.
Saturday 25 May | 11am – 3.30pm
Kino Van in Town. Come and watch Kingston and Muybridge-related short films in the Market Place. Street screening by London Film Archive.
Suitable for all. No need to book.
Tuesday 28 May | 2 – 3.30pm
Shadow Play, Shadow Puppet Making Workshop. Why don’t you make your own shadow puppets and put on a show? Suitable for 5s and over. Children need an adult to accompany them.
> Book online
Thursday 30 May | 2 – 4pm
Move It Fast, Thumbs Up It’s Thursday at Kingston Museum. Kids can come and make their own pictures move on a cardboard disc. Suitable for 3+. No need to book.
Thursday 30 May | 6 – 6.30pm
Share It, Our Young People’s Board have been working with TOGADA to produce short films focusing on items from the Museum’s collection and highlighting why they are relevant today.
Suitable for 15’s and over.
> Book online
Thursday 30 May | 6.30 – 8.30pm
Muybridge and Victorian Animation, Lecture by Muybridge expert and technical historian Stephen Herbert. The lecture will be illustrated with the demonstration of a replica Zoopraxiscope as well as other 19th-century optical toys. Suitable for 15’s and over.
> Book online
Saturday 1 June | 11am – 4.30pm
Muybridge Film Day, Enjoy a day of Muybridge inspired films, from a 2-min animation to a feature film. Popcorn's on us! No need to book.
Saturday 1 June | 11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm
Come and meet our own Muybridge (played by Keith Hathaway) who will demonstrate a replica Zoopraxiscope. You will see what one of the world’s first moving image projections looks like. Suitable for all. No need to book.
25 May – 1 June
Screening of Muybridge inspired short animations, presented by students of Kingston College Animation course (Level 3 Digital Design). Suitable for all. No need to book.
Muybridge was born in Kingston in 1830, a period in time when people were just beginning to experiment with the idea of photography. Muybridge is most famous for photographing a horse in motion, which proved that horses take all four feet off the ground at one point as they gallop. He then went on to invent the ‘Zoopraxiscope’ one of the world's first devices that could project a moving image.
Muybridge was an ambitious person. In 1850, aged 20, Muybridge decided to leave Kingston and head for America. He declared to his grandma, “I’m going to make a name for myself. If I fail, you will never hear from me again.”
Initially, Muybridge worked as a bookseller in New York and San Francisco. He was involved in a stagecoach crash and suffered brain damage in 1860. After recovering from this accident, Muybridge became a photographer. He started out as a landscape photographer, capturing urban scenes of San Francisco to the wilderness views of Yosemite.
Muybridge was a man of mystery who changed his names several times across his career. He had many talents and eventful life. He even invented a washing machine and apparatus for plate printing.
Muybridge hit the headlines in 1878-79 when he demonstrated a way to take a series of photographs of a galloping horse. This was the first time a photographer had captured such fast motion in real time. To prove these photos were real, to doubting people, he successfully demonstrated the moving image using his ‘Zoopraxiscope’.
Across his career, Muybridge took thousands of photos of people and animals moving about. He published many of these motion image series in books and papers, including Attitudes of Animals in Motion (1881) and Animal Locomotion (1887). He toured across America and Europe showing his moving image projector and motion studies.
Muybridge returned to Kingston in 1894. He lived with his cousins in Kingston for the rest of his life. During his final years, Muybridge became a good friend of Benjamin Carter, Head of Kingston Library. It is suggested that this friendship is what led Muybridge to bequeath his personal collection of photographs, equipment and personal belongings to Kingston Museum while it was being built.
Sadly, Muybridge never got to see Kingston Museum. It opened to the public in October 1904, five months after Muybridge’s death. He died on 8th May 1904 at the age of 74.