Eadweard Muybridge – Gridded on my mind

I wrote those words “gridded on my mind” years ago in a short story, the protagonist describing herself as the antagonist’s Eadweard Muybridge, preserving him in her memory, serving as his stop-gap photographer.

Eadweard Muybridge. Funny name. The sequences of images a precursor to video.

Muybridge came to prominence when he captured the motion of a horse in 1872, proving that all four feet of the horse leave the ground mid-gallop, when the feet are tucked under the horse. I’ve always loved Muybridge photos. I adore seeing the dress of that era come alive again. The motion captured seems like it should have sound, the thwacking of a tennis ball, the tapping feet of a walking man, galloping hooves. Imagine walking into his studio, looking at the grid in front of which you would appear walking or taking off your clothes.

Check out Freeze Frame, a web feature on Eadweard Muybridge from the National Museum of American History here, or the staggering The Compleat Muybridge – Stephen Herbert writes a fun blog.

“LAWN TENNIS”
ANIMAL LOCOMOTION PLATE 298, 1887
COLLOTYPE, Smithsonian Institution

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.