Muybridge and Motion: Selections from the Tang Teaching Museum Collection

On display in the Link Gallery from July 1, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022

For hundreds of years, artists depicted a horse in mid-gallop with all four legs extended outward like a child's rocking horse. In the 1870s, one man proved them all wrong. Funded by Leland Stanford, English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830 – 1904) split his time between the racetrack, Central Pacific Railroad headquarters, and the farm at Palo Alto to prove that Occident – Stanford's racehorse – did lift all four hooves off the ground when moving at full speed, capturing the accurate motion of a horse's gait for the first time.

Muybridge and Motion featured a series of groundbreaking animal locomotion photographic studies by Muybridge from the Tang Teaching Museum collection and paintings by American artist Henry Stull (1851 – 1913) from the National Museum of Racing collection. Exhibited together, these works from two separate museum collections illustrated how the technological advancements in photography made by Muybridge forever changed the way motion is depicted and understood, particularly in the field of equine art.

This exhibition was part of “All Together Now,” a regional collection-sharing project organized by The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation.


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