on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Landscape Photography of Edweard Muybridge

A Larger than Life Figure of 19C Western American Photography

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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For our last issue, David Ward and I recorded a discussion about a book on Edweard Muybridge by Rebecca Solnit (Click here for podcast). Since then I’ve received a larger book that accompanied a 2010 exhibition about Muybridge’s work at the Tate Gallery, London (very cheap copies available here and worth the £10 asking price). The book includes many fantastic images and I thought it would be useful to write a brief summary of Muybridge’s life, in particular his landscape work, to complement the Podcast. I won’t be going into his life in-depth as I’d highly recommend Solnit’s book if you’re interested and perhaps search for a copy of the book of the Tate exhibition for further information.

It’s hard to write a short review of Muybridge’s life without sounding like one of Tom Sawyer’s exaggerated stories.
It’s hard to write a short review of Muybridge’s life without sounding like one of Tom Sawyer’s exaggerated stories. Muybridge was born in Kingston upon Thames and as a young adult, he decided he wanted a more exciting life so moved to the US and took various jobs but settled as a book salesman, eventually owning a book shop next to a photography studio. He would have sold art by Carleton Watkins and painting reproductions by the likes of Albert Bierstadt and others in the Hudson River School. He claims to have spent much of his time investigating and perhaps engaging in photography during this period but this is probably more myth-making. He finally sold the business to his brother five years later.



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