It’s all in the detail

Panorama of San Francisco, 1878 [detail]

One of the popular exhibits of the recent Tate Britain exhibition was the 17-foot long panorama of San Francisco; the example on display was from the Kingston Museum Collection. Although the panorama has appeared in print in various books over the years, and online, the high resolution version on the web is still something of a revelation. No need to pore over the book-size printed images with a magnifier – now you can scroll up and down and along and see all the detail that’s there.

Various arrangements are at:

As well as the 13-panel join-up, there’s a more sophisticated version that’s knitted together in a full 360 degree circle. The 360-join-up version has gained some distortion along the way, but it’s still fun being able to spin all the way round!

Exceptional detail is also provided for a growing number of Muybridge photographs on the Calisphere website – bringing together all of the photographs from the various University of California websites.

Mills' Seminary, California

Eadweard Muybridge stereoscopic photograph of Mills Hall,
circa 1873. Contributing Institution: F. W. Olin Library Mills College

Why is the woman in black turned away from the camera? A whim of the photographer, to produce a more interesting and enigmatic composition?

For some, the availabllity of such photographs in such minute detail online will take away some of the regret at not being able to own originals. Although reasonable in comparison with many other 19th-century photographic images, good examples don’t come cheap. This rare 1874 cabinet card of a collage by Muybridge’s publishers Bradley & Rulofson is currently on eBay, starting price 895 dollars.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Muybridge photographs: Swann Auction today

Mills Seminary

Swann Auction: The Stephen L. White Collection and Fine Photographs Tuesday March 23rd

Sale 2208 Lot 54

MUYBRIDGE, EADWEARD (1830-1904) “Mills Seminary, Seminary Park, Alameda Co., Cal.”
Description: MUYBRIDGE, EADWEARD (1830-1904)
“Mills Seminary, Seminary Park, Alameda Co., Cal.” Mammoth albumen print, 15×21 1/4 (38.1×54 cm.), with Muybridge’s credit, the title, publisher’s information and notations printed on mount recto. 1873

Estimated Price: $10,000 – $15,000

Notes: The publishers are Bradley Eldridge, Rulofson, San Francisco. The other notations read, “Compliments J.O. Eldridge.”
Formerly in the collection of a Mills College Trustee; acquired from a private Denver dealer in 1990.
The Photograph and the American Dream 1840-1940, 50.
Former missionaries Cyrus and Susan Mills purchased the seminary in 1865 and moved its location to its present site in the Oakland foothills, changing its name to Mills Seminary. Mills Hall was built in 1871, and the young ladies who resided there ate vegetables from the school’s garden and drank milk from the school’s cow. Muybridge’s photograph shows the women of Mills Seminary on the lawn in front of Mills Hall, which remains a landmark building on the campus today. Mills Hall, an Italianate/Second Empire building by Samuel Bugbee and Sons, is now at the center of the campus. Much of the lush landscaping was the result of Dr. Cyrus Mills’s interest in horticulture, and provides the backdrop for an eclectic collection of buildings representing works by many of the region’s notable architects and more than a century of Bay Area architecture.

Sale 2208 Lot 10

Thirteen-part panorama of San Francisco, California. Toned silver prints (13), each approximately 18×15 inches (45.7×38.1 cm.), total size measuring approximately 195 inches (495 cm.) in length, flush mounted, each framed in lucite. 1878; printed 1973
Estimate $4,000-6,000

Acquired from a Santa Barbara, CA bookseller.
The Photograph and the American Dream 1840-1940, 170.
This panorama, which is comprised of 13 separate images, is one of the most precise visual records of San Francisco before the decimating earthquake of 1906. Muybridge’s construction of the panorama spawned his interest in progressive motion and sequential imaging, laying the groundwork for the stop-motion photographs that Muybridge would produce later in his career. The panorama he produced a year earlier, in 1877, consisted of 11 panels.

Sale 2208 Lot 60

Author’s Edition, Animal Locomotion
“Animal Locomotion (An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements).” With 21 plates depicting wrestlers, running and jumping horses, a lion, a bird in flight, walking and jumping men, a topless woman jumping rope, a nude man swinging a baseball bat and others. Collotype plates, size ranging from approximately 8 3/4×11 3/4 to 5 1/2×17 1/2 inches; sheet size 18×23 1/2 inches, on the two-toned paper, each with Muybridge’s copyright, title, date, plate number and “Author’s Edition” printed on recto; with an inscription by Muybridge, in pencil, on the title page. Atlas folio, gilt-lettered leather label, boards. 1872-1885; printed 1887
Estimate $15,000-20,000

The inscription reads, “With the warm esteem of The Author 31 March 1890.”
Acquired from a California collector via a private sale in 2008.
This Author’s Edition, published under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, represents a collection of some of the most dynamic images from Muybridge’s series. Each Author’s Edition contains a unique selection of images and quantity of plates.

Sale 2208 Lot 59

Self-portrait showing movements from “Animal Locomotion.” Collotype, 8 1/4×15 inches (21×38.1 cm.), with Muybridge’s printed credit, title, date and plate number on the two-toned paper recto. 1887
Estimate $3,000-4,500

Acquired from Jo Tartt, Washington, D.C. in 1990.
The Photograph and the American Dream 1840-1940, 36.