HELIOS arrives!

HELIOS Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, Philip Brookman.

The book was delivered yesterday. It looks magnificent – with a different dust jacket from that originally shown in pre-publication publicity – and at 360 pages will take a while to absorb. Now I regret more than ever not being able to get to see the exhibition in Washington (which includes exhibits that won’t make it across to Tate Britain), but this publication is a wonderful permanent record. More about the book (lots more) soon.

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change (Hardcover)
Philip Brookman, with contributions by, Marta Braun, Corey Keller, Rebecca Solnit, Andy Grundberg.

See a brief introduction to Muybridge by Philip Brookman on Vimeo:

and a longer piece with Brookman, The pioneer of photography, on BBC World News America here:

Keeping up with developments – exhibitions, publications, symposiums, websites, artworks, videos, (even) songs – is proving to be quite a task at the moment, and the momentum is likely to be maintained throughout the summer and into the autumn. As my friend Luke McKernan has observed, this truly is The Year of Muybridge.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Robert Bartlett Haas dies at 94


Robert Bartlett Haas dies at 94
By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times

May 18, 2010


Robert Bartlett Haas, a longtime UCLA educator who spent years immersed in the writings of Gertrude Stein, has died. He was 94.

Haas died April 20 in a hospital in Nuertingen, Germany, after a brief illness, said his son, Peter. He had spent most of his retirement years in Germany.

Haas was born Jan. 20, 1916, in Santa Cruz. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from UC Berkeley in 1938, a master’s in English from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in education from Stanford.

He joined the UCLA faculty in 1949 and was the founding director of the school’s arts and humanities extension division. Peter Haas said the program was envisioned as a way for teachers to broaden their skills with additional courses on a variety of subjects. Haas stayed with the program until his retirement in the late 1970s.

Haas “was one of the young men who sought out Gertrude Stein as a mentor and was rewarded with years of encouragement and friendship and who, in turn, devoted a measure of his academic life to bolstering Stein’s reputation,” Timothy Young, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, told The Times in an e-mail. Young cataloged Stein’s papers at Yale.

“My dad was a very complex guy,” Peter Haas said. “He was kind of a little avant-garde, and Gertrude Stein was certainly an avant-garde poet.” Among his books about Stein was “A Primer for the Gradual Understanding of Gertrude Stein,” published in 1971, in which he is credited as editor.

Our own subject gets just a one-line mention in the Los Angeles Times obituary:

Haas also wrote a 1976 biography of pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge, “Muybridge: Man in Motion,” and edited “William Grant Still and the Fusion of Cultures in American Music,” a 1972 book about an African American composer and conductor.

Hass is also survived by another son, Robin, and longtime partner Ia Wech. His first wife, Louise Krause Haas, died in 1982, and a second marriage ended in divorce.

Robert Haas worked on his Eadweard Muybridge book for more than two decades. “Muybridge: Man in Motion,” and Gordon Hendricks’ biography of Muybridge, are still key references for historians working today.

Robert Bartlett Haas donated his Muybridge-related research papers and notes to Kingston Museum, UK, where they may be accessed by prior arrangement.


Coffee Break (Guatemala)

Time for a coffee break. A short blog for a small coffee distributor in Washington says:

“Welcome to Aviv Coffee!

Aviv Coffee is your source for premium roasted Guatemalan Coffee in the Washington DC Metro Area. We pride ourselves with offering single origin, freshly roasted Guatemalan coffee. Currently we are offering Highland (Huehuetenango) Coffee that follows the guidelines of the SLOW FOOD movement.

We carefully cup every coffee and rate it for quality and flavor; providing you a to rich and satisfying coffee.

We obtain our coffee from Highlands of Guatemala from small producers, thus aiding in the sustainability of farming in the region.”


Guatemalan Coffee 1800’s – Eadweard Muybridge

“Coffee was introduced to Guatemala in the late 1700’s, in houses as ornamental plants. By the early 1800’s the coffee plants were taken outside the cities into different areas of the country. Originally coffee was planted out of amusement rather than for economic speculation. During that time coffee was seen more of a medicinal drink than a refreshment. It would take another 60 years to reach a commercial scale, once all other exports lost their economic value.  To foment coffee cultivation in the 1830’s the government passed a laws and incentives that helped coffee growers. In 1867 at the International Expo in Paris, Julio Rossignon and Juan Rodriguez presented coffee cultivated and processed in Guatemala and obtained awards for its taste. The liberal government which came to power in 1871 thorough a revolutionary fight, fomented the cultivation of coffee more than previous governments.

Liberal Leaders in Guatemala encourage Coffee Production

Eadweard Muybridge an English Photographer traveled to Guatemala in 1875, when coffee bean production was a bustling enterprise. He visited several farms in Guatemala and photographed every stage of coffee production.”

Aviv’s blogger continues:

I went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art this past Saturday and saw the pictures he took. Very interesting. The same pictures appear in the “History of Coffee in Guatemala” book that I have been reading.”

The book mentioned can be previewed on Google Books.

Jacket photo by Muybridge
The History of Coffee in Guatemala,
By Regina Wagner, Cristóbal von Rothkirch

“Muybridge left the largest and oldest photographic record of coffee production in Latin America, and captured an important period of transition from the conservative to the liberal eras. “

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Villegas Editores; 1 edition (November 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9588156017
ISBN-13: 978-9588156019
Product Description
After it emerged as a market commodity in the 18th century, coffee was easily adapted to cultivation in the highlands of Central America. Guatemala in particular has relied on coffee cultivation as a part of its economic identity: it has been a premier export crop for over 300 years.

The importance of coffee to the country lies in the large labor investment in each stage of production. This large-format illustrated book covers agricultural, social, and cultural aspects of coffee culture in Guatemala in old photographs, charts, tables and maps. Wagner’s work shows how Guatemala has met the economic complexity to which this product is subject, and why coffee remains the solid foundation crop of the country today.

About the Author
Regina Wagner was born in Guatemala, has a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University, New Orleans. She teaches at the Francisco Marroquín University and is current president of the Academy for Geography and History of Guatemala.

The book preview includes several good quality sepia reproductions of  Muybridge photographs.

Weeding and protecting young coffee plants from sun.
Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala (1875)
Sidney D. Markman Collection


For more on Muybridge in Central America, check The Sidney D. Markman Collection of Eadweard Muybridge Prints which lists many of his photographs taken in Guatemala and Panama.

The Sidney D. Markman Collection of Eadweard Muybridge Prints contains 142 black and white 9″ x 6″ copy prints of original Eadweard Muybridge photographs of colonial architecture, landscapes, coffee plantations, and daily life in Central America, taken in 1875. For more background on the Guatemalan photographs, see Eadweard Muybridge in Guatemala, 1875: The Photographer as Social Recorder (photographs by Eadweard J. Muybridge; text by E. Bradford Burns), University of California Press, 1986. (LAL F1464.B94)

Professor Ralph Lee Woodward of the History Department at Tulane remarked that the Muybridge photographs “give us an exceptionally valuable window on Guatemala in 1875. They are quite remarkable in what they tell us about Central America in that period.” (quoted from the dustjacket of Eadweard Muybridge in Guatemala, 1875 ).

Critical Lives Series: a new Muybridge biography by Marta Braun

As your dedicated blogger struggles to keep up with the whirlwind of events and announcements relating to our subject, comes news from Reaktion Books: a new illustrated biography of Muybridge will be published later this year.

Eadweard Muybridge, by Marta Braun
208 pages, 40 halftones  5 x 7 7/8
Series: Reaktion Books – Critical Lives
Paper $16.95
ISBN: 9781861897602   Will publish October 2010

This is a new publication in the Critical Lives series: So Eadweard Muybridge takes his place alongside such cultural greats as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Samuel Beckett, and Sergei Eisenstein.

“Critical Lives is a major series of short critical biographies that present the work of important cultural figures in the context of their lives. Each book relates and brings alive the life of the artist, writer, philosopher or architect in question and assesses their major works at the same time.”

Distributed by the University of Chicago Press.

The life of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) is the stuff of legend. An inventive and sensitive photographer, and a technical wizard who was the first ever to freeze motion with a camera, he was also a man of passion who murdered his wife’s lover (although he was acquitted of the crime). Born Edward James Muggeridge, Muybridge reinvented himself several times, changing his surname first to Muygridge then to Muybridge, and late in life upgrading the mundane ‘Edward’ to the saxon, kingly ‘Eadweard’. In Eadweard Muybridge, Marta Braun frames the photographer’s life within the dramatic transformations brought about by the rapidly developing technologies of the late nineteenth century. Born in Kingston upon Thames, Muybridge travelled to the United States at 22 to seek his fortune, first in New York and then in San Francisco where he set himself up as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. As the photographic artist ‘Helios’, Muybridge became famous in the 1870s for his artistic depictions of the rugged beauty of the us West Coast and its inhabitants, from Modoc warriors to the robber barons who pushed through the transcontinental railway. As Edward Muybridge he documented the indigenous tribes and coffee plantations of Guatemala, the expansion of the American frontier and the gold-rush driven remaking of San Francisco. In 1887, working with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, he invented a method of stop-action photography that heralded the first motion pictures. As lecturer, flamboyant showman and entertainer, he toured Europe and America with his ‘zoopraxiscope’, a machine that re-animated his motion sequences. At the end of his life, lonely and disappointed, his fame dwindling and his career faltering, Muybridge retired to his English birthplace, where he died in 1904. Since then his life and work have continued to fire the imagination of artists as varied as Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly and u2. Eadweard Muybridge presents an insightful and lucid account of the life, work and legacy of this highly influential figure, as well as newly discovered information about the photographer’s masterpiece, Animal Locomotion.

Comments about this series:~

‘beautifully produced – very short critical biographies whose main target audience is likely to be undergraduates, but that will also do nicely for a general audience.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Reaktion has published a distinguished series of these shorter critical appraisals of famous literary figures’
Independent on Sunday

‘This excellent series should dispel many of the silly shibboleths about critical theory.’
Scotland on Sunday

Marta Braun is professor at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the author of Picturing Time: The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey and Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science.

On the Move: catch it while you can

Still four weeks to go until the Estorick’s (London) exhibition finishes. On the Move: Visualising Action, by Jonathan Miller, closes 18th April. (Check their website for opening times.) A mix of 19th and 20th-century paintings, drawings, linocuts, many photographic prints, and a small selection of objects including some Muybridge lantern slides (Fancy Dancing), Animal Locomotion collotypes, and several original Zoopraxiscope colour discs. Plus: a Marey photographic gun, a Marey bronze of a seagull in flight – and replica praxinoscopes, zoetrope, phenakistiscope, and thaumatrope to play with. One small quibble – the ‘Double pulley slide’ comprising the silhouette sequence of a horse, on a small glass disc, is captioned as (from  memory) not being intended for illumination or public show. In fact, this would have been used in a magic lantern (slide projector) and shown to the public on a big screen. It was sometimes known as a ‘lantern Wheel of Life’.

I was especially interested to see several photographic prints by Idris Kahn : Rising Series… After Eadweard Muybridge ‘Human and Animal Locomotion’ – manipulating Muybridge images by superimposing them, as I had not previously seen all of these. At least one other artist, Doug Keyes, has used a similar technique, but I have not seen his images. This composite technique was first used by Francis Galton for scientific purposes; he superimposed Muybridge’s galloping horse phases in 1882.

A short film about Muybridge, by Keith Hathaway, plays continuously. This semi-animates a number of Animal Locomotion images, using the lantern slide versions from the Kingston collection.

A very engaging exhibition, with excellent text by Jonathan Miller.

In the accompanying 60-page book, which does not list the individual exhibits, Jonathan Miller states: “In contrast to Muybridge – whose influence on art was largely confined to corrections of the pictorial representation of animal movement, Marey unknowingly laid the foundations for one of the most significant developments in 20th-century modernism…” A check on YouTube for Muybridge will reveal a plethora of new Muybridge-inspired pieces, mostly animations, by young artists. And the creators of many modern works to be found in galleries today – paintings, drawings, photographs, installations – cite Muybridge as their inspiration. Just as Marey influenced the artists of 20th-century modernism, Muybridge is inspiring the artists who are creating the visual media of the 21st century.

Mural, Kingston Upon Thames.

Corcoran Gallery Exhibition Details

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, has released further details of its forthcoming exhibition HELIOS: EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE IN A TIME OF CHANGE (April 10 – July 18).

“The enormous impact of Muybridge’s photographs can be found throughout modern art, from paintings and sculptures by Thomas Eakins, Edgar Degas, Umberto Boccioni, Marcel Duchamp, and Francis Bacon, to the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix and the music video for U2’s hit song Lemon,” Philip Brookman said.

The Exhibition structure
The show will be structured in a series of thematic sections that present the chronology of Muybridge’s career, the evolution of his unique sensibility, the foundations of his experimental approach to photography, and his connections to other people and events that helped guide his work.

The sections include: Introduction: The Art of Eadweard Muybridge (1857–1887), The Infinite Landscape: Yosemite Valley and the Western Frontier (1867–1869), From California to the End of the Earth: San Francisco, Alaska, the Railroads, and the Pacific Coast (1868–1872), The Geology of Time: Yosemite and the High Sierra (1872), Stopping Time: California at the Crossroads of Perception (1872–1878), War, Murder, and the Production of Coffee: the Modoc War and the Development of Central America (1873–1875), Urban Panorama (1877–1880), The Horse in Motion (1877–1881), Motion Pictures: the Zoopraxiscope (1879–1893), Animal Locomotion (1883–1893).

The Catalogue
A catalogue will accompany the exhibition, Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change, and will include essays by
Philip Brookman, Marta Braun, Corey Keller, Rebecca Solnit, and an introduction by Andy Grundberg. Published by Steidl.

Press Preview
Media are invited to a press preview for Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change on Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at the Corcoran, 500 17th St. N.W., Washington, DC. RSVP to pr@corcoran.org by April 5.

Exhibition Programming
An extensive a series of cultural and educational programs inspired by Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change will begin in March. Programs include family workshops, lectures, and art classes for aspiring artists; in conjunction with the exhibition, the programs will seeks to highlight the artist’s innovations and his key role in pioneering the creative transformation of late 19th-century American culture.

Inspiration Gallery
Visitors to the exhibition will be immersed in an Inspiration Gallery at its conclusion. An electronic timeline will be presented to emphasize the remarkable environment of the 19th century. The Inspiration Gallery will provide opportunities to explore how Muybridge’s wide influence is manifested in American art today. His role as a catalyst in a technological and aesthetic revolution has continued to transform our representation of time and space. The impact of Muybridge’s influence is apparent in photographs, books, video, and installation art by selected artists, whose works will be on view in the Inspiration Gallery.

Kristin Guiter, (202) 639-1867, kguiter@corcoran.org
Rachel Cothran, (202) 639-1813, rcothran@corcoran.org
Media Center: http://www.corcoran.org/press

Anita Ventura Mozley dies at 81

Curator of photography Anita Ventura Mozley, a prominent Muybridge scholar, died on January 23rd of natural causes at her home in Menlo Park, California.

From the Stanford Report, Obituary by Karen Bartholomew:


February 16, 2010
Former Stanford photography curator Anita V. Mozley dies at 81

As curator of photography at the Stanford Museum of Art, Anita Ventura Mozley organized exhibitions on Eadweard Muybridge, Ansel Adams, Joseph Raphael and Robert Frank. She also expanded the museum’s photography collection.

Soon after joining the museum as registrar, she recognized the significance of its comprehensive collection of Muybridge’s stop-motion photographs of the horse in motion, commissioned a century earlier by Gov. Leland Stanford. She was named curator of photography in 1971, and the following year organized her most significant exhibition, “Eadweard Muybridge: The Stanford Years, 1872-1882,” which traveled nationally and internationally. Mozley later wrote the introductory text to Muybridge’s Complete Human and Animal Locomotion (Dover, 1979).

Active in the New York art scene of the 1950s as a writer, critic and painter, Anita Ventura designed posters for the Leo Castelli Gallery and came to know Jasper Johns … Ventura served as managing editor and West Coast correspondent for Arts Magazine from 1955 to 1964. With sculptor Sidney Geist, she produced an alternative arts newsletter, Scrap, from 1960 to 1962. Scrap grew out of their dissatisfaction with conventional art criticism and expressed, as Geist later wrote, “both a combativeness and an irreverence toward criticism itself.”

After moving to San Francisco in 1962, she worked at the Maritime Museum and married physicist Robert Mozley before joining the Stanford Museum in 1970. Virtually overnight, she initiated the expansion of the museum’s photography collection. In addition to Muybridge, her research included Julia Margaret Cameron, Thomas Annan, Imogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams, Peter Stackpole and Lorie Novak.

Mozley’s other memorable exhibitions included “Ansel Adams: The Portfolios,” 1972; “The Grand Tour: Mid-19th Century Photographs from the Leonard–Peil Collection,” 1979; “Paintings by Joseph Raphael,” 1980; “Ansel Adams: Ski Experience,” 1983; and “Images of Hope and Despair: Robert Frank’s Photographs,” 1985. For her 1974 exhibition “Mrs. Cameron’s Photographs from the Life,” Mozley staged Virginia Woolf’s play Freshwater: A Comedy at the museum and cast herself as the main character, Julia Margaret Cameron, who was Woolf’s great-aunt.

After retiring in 1986, Mozley again took up drawing and painting, and exhibited in California and at shows near her summer home at Southport, Maine.

Jed Perl, art critic of The New Republic, said Mozley would be remembered for her “pioneering scholarly work” on Muybridge, which “like all of Anita’s undertakings, were fueled by an artist’s sensibility.”

With her informed editing of Eadweard Muybridge, The Stanford Years 1872-1882 Anita Ventura Mozley created much more than an exhibition catalogue. It was in fact the first book to deal exclusively with Muybridge and his work, making clear the scope of the photographer’s many projects, and indicating his influence. Her scholarship was deep and meticulous. When Kevin Macdonnell’s flawed book Eadweard Muybridge, the Man who Invented the Moving Picture appeared in 1972, she commented in considerable detail and with palpable exasperation about the book’s serious shortcomings, after the Times Literary Supplement had simply noted its publication uncritically as a ‘a well-produced picture book’. Her detailed analysis of the book’s problems have been useful to subsequent researchers. Anita V. Mozley’s extensive Introduction to the 1979 Dover edition of Animal Locomotion gave a thorough grounding in the subject of Muybridge and his work for the reader (mostly artists – since this is today essentially an art reference publication) who may not have troubled to seek out a biography, and would otherwise have been using Muybridge’s work with little understanding of its origins.