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Kingston Museum teams up with Google Arts for special interactive Eadweard Muybridge project

Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge

Kingston Museum has contributed the story of Kingston-born pioneering inventor and photographer Eadweard Muybridge, as part of a new interactive project with Google Arts and Culture.

Kingston Museum has contributed the story of a Kingston-born pioneering inventor and photographer, whose work was a huge influence on film and animation as we know it, as part of a new interactive project with Google Arts and Culture.

Eadweard Muybridge was a pioneer in motion studies and projection of moving image, most famous for photographing horses in motion, which proved horses take all four feet off the ground at one point as they gallop. In 1879, he invented the Zoopraxiscope, one of the first moving image projectors. His work and invention greatly contributed to the development of film and animation - which may not be what it is today without his research.

Muybridge was born in Kingston in 1830 and after a successful career in America returned to his hometown. Before his death in 1904, he bequeathed his collection to Kingston Museum, one of the four largest and most significant Muybridge collections in the world.

A selection of this collection is now available to view online, as part of Google Arts and Culture's wider Once Upon a Try campaign. Finally, online visitors can discover two interactive stories about Muybridge to learn about him as a significant history maker and Kingston resident. These stories and digitised images of Muybridge’s work supply a glimpse into the 19th century world of photography and inventions. Providing an invaluable resource in learning about the progress in projection of moving image and animation.

Kingston Museum’s Muybridge collection is special, as it includes unique personal items with which he chose to travel back from America. The collection is made up of approximately 3,500 objects and widely consists of Muybridge’s glass lantern slides, Zoopraxiscope discs, collotype prints, projection equipment, original publications, his own personal items and archival materials.

The Museum also displays the only original Zoopraxiscope in the world - Muybridge’s totally unique technological equipment to project animated images.

Cllr Malcolm Self of Kingston Council, portfolio holder with responsibility for the museum, said:

“Kingston Museum holds an internationally significant collection, and I am delighted that through our partnership with Google Arts and Culture, we can share Muybridge’s story and collection further than ever before. Muybridge’s work was all about new technology, groundbreaking research and sharing images, so it’s wonderful to work with Google Arts to use contemporary technology to increase the accessibility of our world class collection.”

Seoyoung Kim, Kingston Museum Curator said:

“One of the importances of Kingston Museum’s Muybridge Collection is its distinctive connection to Muybridge himself who was born and died in Kingston. Much emphasis has been made in this new Google online story to tell the world that Muybridge was a proud Kingstonian, whose influence and legacy are found in many aspects of our contemporary culture, from animation to advanced science.”

Amit Sood, director of Google Arts & Culture, said:

“We invite everyone to participate in the first phase of an online collection that celebrates innovation and science. Through inspiring, and at times surprising, stories from over 100 partners, you can explore the inventions and discoveries that have shaped our world. Once Upon a Try is all about that first attempt, the idea, the journey of fulfilling a dream, and we hope it’ll give people that extra boost to find their very own eureka moment."