Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) is one of the most innovative and influential photographers of all time. Born in Britain, he emigrated to New York in his 20s, beginning his career as a photographer in San Francisco in 1867. Muybridge constantly pushed the limits of photography's possibilities, creating vast panoramas of the American landscape, inventing a method of projecting moving images that predated celluloid and documenting the young nation's rapidly growing cities. He is best known for his revolutionary series Animal Locomotion that inspired such key figures as Marcel Duchamp and Francis Bacon and continues to exert a strong fascination on contemporary artists today. Muybridge's extraordinary life encompassed several name changes (he was born Edward James Muggeridge), extensive international travel and even trial for murder. But as the essays by a selection of eminent critics featured in the book demonstrate, the details of his biography are less astonishing than the range and scope of his achievements in his chosen medium. Illustrating over 200 works from throughout Muybridge's career, accompanying a major, touring exhibition, this will remain the major work on the artist for many years to come.
Philip Brookman is chief curator and head of research at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington and the author of Robert Frank: London/Wales.
Contributors include Marta Braun, Corey Keller and Rebecca Solnit.