Animals Pictures For Kids BiographyToday, the court case and transcripts are important to historians and forensic neurologists, because of the sworn testimony from multiple witnesses regarding Muybridge's state of mind and past behaviour. The modern American composer Philip Glass also found the story fascinating, and composed an opera, The Photographer, with a libretto based in part on court transcripts from the case.
Shortly after his acquittal in February 1875, Muybridge left the United States on a previously planned 9-month photography trip to Central America, as a "working exile". By 1877, he had resumed work for Leland Stanford, as described above.
Flora tried to get a divorce, and was initially unsuccessful, but her second petition received a favourable ruling and an order for alimony in April 1875. While Muybridge was in Central America, she became ill and died in July 1875 at the age of 24. She had placed their son, Florado Helios Muybridge (later nicknamed "Floddie" by friends), with a French couple. After Muybridge returned, he had the boy moved from a Catholic orphanage to a Protestant one in September 1876, paid for his care, but otherwise had little to do with him.
Photographs of Florado Muybridge as an adult show him to have strongly resembled Muybridge. Put to work on a ranch as a boy, he worked all his life as a ranch hand and gardener. In 1944, Florado was hit by a car in Sacramento and killed, at approximately the age of 70.
Later motion studies
Eadweard Muybridge Boys playing Leapfrog (1883–86, printed 1887) Collotype
American bison cantering – set to motion in 2006 using photos by Eadweard Muybridge
Muybridge often travelled back to England and Europe to publicise his work. The opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, and the development of steamships made travel much faster and less arduous than it was in 1860. On 13 March 1882 he lectured at the Royal Institution in London in front of a sell-out audience, which included members of the Royal Family, notably the future King Edward VII. He displayed his photographs on screen and showed moving pictures projected by his zoopraxiscope.
Muybridge and Stanford had a major falling-out concerning his research on equine locomotion. Stanford had asked his friend and horseman Dr. J. B. D. Stillman to write a book analysing The Horse in Motion, which was published in 1882. Stillman used Muybridge's photos as the basis for his 100 illustrations, and the photographer's research for the analysis, but he gave Muybridge no prominent credit. The historian Phillip Prodger later suggested that Stanford considered Muybridge as just one of his employees, and not deserving of special recognition.
However, as a result of Muybridge not being credited in the book, the Royal Society of Arts withdrew an offer to fund his stop-motion studies in photography, and refused to publish a paper he had submitted, accusing him of plagiarism. Muybridge filed a lawsuit against Stanford to gain credit, but it was dismissed out of court. However, Stillman's book did not sell as expected. Muybridge, looking elsewhere for funding, was more successful. The Royal Society later invited Muybridge back to show his work.
In the 1880s, the University of Pennsylvania sponsored Muybridge's research using banks of cameras to photograph people in a studio, and animals from the Philadelphia Zoo to study their movement. The human models, either entirely nude or very lightly clothed, were photographed against a measured grid background in a variety of action sequences, including walking up or down stairs, hammering on an anvil, carrying buckets of water, or throwing water over one another. Muybridge produced sequences showing farm, industrial, construction, and household work, military maneuvers, and everyday activities. He also photographed athletic activities such as baseball, cricket, boxing, wrestling, discus throwing, and a ballet dancer performing. Showing a single-minded dedication to scientific accuracy and artistic composition, Muybridge himself posed nude for some of the photographic sequences, such as one showing him swinging a miner's pick.
Between 1883 and 1886, Muybridge made more than 100,000 images, working obsessively in Philadelphia under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. During 1884, the painter Thomas Eakins briefly worked alongside him, to learn more about the application of photography to the study of human and animal motion. Eakins later favoured the use of multiple exposures superimposed on a single photographic negative to study motion more precisely, while Muybridge continued to use multiple cameras to produce separate images which could also be projected by his zoopraxiscope. The vast majority of Muybridge's work at this time was done in a special sunlit outdoor studio, due to the bulky cameras and slow photographic emulsion speeds then available. Towards the end of this period, Muybridge spent much of his time selecting and editing his photos in preparation for publication.
In 1887, the photos were published as a massive portfolio, with 781 plates comprising 20,000 of the photographs, in a groundbreaking collection titled Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements. Muybridge's work contributed substantially to developments in the science of biomechanics and the mechanics of athletics. Some of his books are still published today, and are used as references by artists, animators, and students of animal and human movement.
A phenakistoscope disc by Muybridge (1893)
A phenakistoscope sequence of a couple waltzing
Recent scholarship has noted that in his later work, Muybridge was influenced by, and in turn influenced the French photographer Étienne-Jules Marey. In 1881, Muybridge first visited Marey's studio in France and viewed stop-motion studies before returning to the US to further his own work in the same area. Marey was a pioneer in producing multiple exposure sequential images using a rotary shutter in his so-called "Marey wheel" camera.
While Marey's scientific achievements in the realms of cardiology and aerodynamics (as well as pioneering work in photography and chronophotography) are indisputable, Muybridge's efforts were to some degree more artistic rather than scientific. As Muybridge explained, in some of his published sequences he had substituted images where original exposures had failed, in order to illustrate a representative movement (rather than producing a strictly scientific recording of a particular sequence).
Today, similar setups of carefully timed multiple cameras are used in modern special effects photography but they have the opposite goal of capturing changing camera angles, with little or no movement of the subject. This is often dubbed "bullet time" photography.
After his work at the University of Pennsylvania, Muybridge travelled widely and gave numerous lectures and demonstrations of his still photography and primitive motion picture sequences. At the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, Muybridge presented a series of lectures on the "Science of Animal Locomotion" in the Zoopraxographical Hall, built specially for that purpose in the "Midway Plaisance" arm of the exposition. He used his zoopraxiscope to show his moving pictures to a paying public, making the Hall the first commercial movie theater.
Retirement and death
Eadweard Muybridge returned to his native England permanently in 1894, and continued to lecture extensively throughout Great Britain. He returned to the US once more, in 1896–1897, to settle financial affairs and to dispose of property related to his work at the University of Pennsylvania. He retained control of his negatives, which he used to publish two popular books of his work, Animals in Motion (1899) and The Human Figure in Motion (1901), both of which remain in print over a century later.
Muybridge died on 8 May 1904 in Kingston upon Thames of prostate cancer at the home of his cousin Catherine Smith. Muybridge was cremated, and his ashes were interred at Woking in Surrey. For unknown reasons, his headstone is engraved with the name "Eadweard Maybridge".
In 2004, a British Film Institute commemorative plaque was installed on the outside wall of the former Smith house, at Park View, 2 Liverpool Road. Many of his papers and collected artifacts were donated to the Kingston Library, and eventually passed to the Kingston Museum in his place of birth.