Science and Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott

Science and Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott
Event on 2016-08-14 10:00:00
The traveling exhibition Science and Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, on July 16, 2016. This exhibition is provided by Bank of America’s Art in Our Communities program and is organized by Bank of America Corporation, by which all rights are reserved. The show offers an extensive view of the scientific studies carried out by three of photography’s greats—Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott. Each of these artists invented devices that studied and represented aspects of science and motion photographically.

Muybridge and Abbott, both primarily artists, became interested in science as a photographic subject. In the course of their efforts to document scientific phenomena and motion accurately, they became inventors, as well. Muybridge’s success in making stop-motion photographs of a racehorse led to his famed studies in animal locomotion. Abbott’s role as photography editor for Science Illustrated led her on a path to become an innovator in scientific photography. First and foremost a scientist, Edgerton performed stroboscopic experiments and documented them photographically while teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), bringing him providentially into the world of art when the Museum of Modern Art in New York featured his famous milk drop image in its first photography exhibition, in 1937. Though Edgerton, Muybridge and Abbott arrived at the nexus of photography and science in different ways, they revealed to us, intelligently and artistically, that which was previously unseen. Their successful partnering of science and photography led to the creation of new technologies and new teaching strategies that have helped to usher us into the modern age.

“The arts enrich our communities, celebrate the past and inspire our future,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut Market President for Bank of America. “We’re proud to partner with the Bruce Museum by lending pieces from our Bank of America Collection for the benefit of all visitors. By sharing these dynamic photographs, we hope to foster great learning and inspiration.”

Photography was born out of a passionate engagement between art and science, a hallmark of the Bruce Museum. The medium’s pioneers were inventors, scientists and artists whose combined revolutionary work dramatically affected art and forged a reciprocal relationship between art and science that has continued to this day. After the invention of photography and its announcement to the world in 1839, photography became a favored tool for scientific investigation while simultaneously spawning a new art form. The nineteenth century was a heyday for scientific amateurs, whose collective passion, intellectual openness and enthusiasm for experimentation yielded significant contributions to geology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics and the arts. Since then, photographic and scientific technologies have advanced rapidly in continuing symbiosis.

Exhibition Programs

Three programs, all free and open to the public, will complement the exhibition Science and Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Berenice Abbott.

Monday, July 18, 10:30 – 11:45 am. Film Screening. “Berenice Abbott: A View of the Twentieth Century,” the hour-long film will be followed by a Q&A session with a Museum staff member.

Monday, August 1, 10:00 – 11:15 am. Science and Motion Lecture. Dr. David Fresko, Visiting Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, The New School, will discuss Eadweard Muybridge.

Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Science and Motion Lecture. Synthetic Biology: Designing Living Things by Dr. Christina Agapakis, Creative Director at Gingko Bioworks. Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 pm, lecture from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Please register at or 203-413- 6757.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut, features more than a dozen art and science exhibitions annually. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is for adults, for students up to 22 years, for seniors and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at

Image Caption: Harold Edgerton, Bullet through Apple, 1964, from Seeing the Unseen: Twelve Photographs, 1964 Chromogenic print, 16 x 20 in., Bank of America Collection, © 2010 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum

at Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, United States

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