Muybridge at the Royal Academy of Arts

Muybridge has been selected as the Royal Academy of Arts’

Artist of the Month – November 2010


Athletes, posturing

Photo: R.A.
© Copyright protected

Athletes, posturing, 1881
138 X 232 mm

From the RAA website: “In March…[1882], the President of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Frederic Leighton PRA invited Muybridge to lecture at the Academy and subsequently, a copy of Muybridge’s The Attitudes of Animals in Motion (London, 1881) was purchased for the Royal Academy of Arts Library. This album of original albumen photographs published in 1881, illustrates Muybridge’s experimental track at Palo Alto and the first sequences of animals in motion, photographed during 1878 and 1879.

With the publication of Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of the Consecutive Phases of Animal Movement, Muybridge had achieved his aim of providing a ‘standard Work of Reference’ and one to which a number of eminent Academicians including Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, William Frith, Sir Frederic Leighton, Sir John Everett Millais, Sir William Orchardson, Sir Edward Poynter and George Frederic Watts all subscribed. In March 1889, Muybridge was to return to the Royal Academy to deliver three further lectures on Animal Locomotion in its relation to Design in Art. At which time, the Academy resolved to purchase a hundred plates for the Royal Academy Schools at the cost of £20, the selection was made by the Keeper, Philip Hermogenes Calderon RA.”

News too of a Muybridge component in a forthcoming Royal Academy of Arts exhibition:

Royal Academy to present first Degas’ dancers exhibition

A Royal Academy exhibition aims to prove that Edgar Degas was “more than just a painter of pretty ballet dancers”.

Dancers in Blue

‘Dancers in Blue’ by Edgar Degas

By Anita Singh 10:50AM GMT 19 Nov 2010

Degas Dancers: Eye and Camera will bring together 75 works comprising paintings, photography, pastel drawings and sculpture. It will hail him as an artist ahead of his time, whose work incorporated and was influenced by early film-making and photography.

“As everybody knows, Degas is the artist most associated with dance. But, rather surprisingly, there has never been an exhibition in Britain devoted exclusively to Degas’ dancers,” said curator Ann Dumas.

“I think we have a very interesting and unusual and fresh approach to this subject. I hope it will undermine the idea that Degas was just a painter of pretty ballet dancers. In fact, he was an extremely radical artist of his time.

“He had a very experimental way of working that has never been fully explored. I think it will make for a very interesting and revelatory exhibition.”

The exhibition will include the Little Dancer sculpture of a 14-year-old girl alongside the artist’s preparatory drawings, which were done from different angles and create the impression of the subject turning 360 degrees.

His work will be displayed alongside that of Eadweard Muybridge, the 19th century photographer, and Auguste and Louis Lumière, the French film-makers, all of whom had an influence on Degas.

The show, which runs from September 17 – December 11 next year, is one of the highlights of the Royal Academy’s 2011 programme.


Posted here by Stephen Herbert

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