Jan 27, 2010

Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge (born Edward Muybridge, April 9th 1830) moved from England to San Francisco in 1855. After beginning his career as a publisher and a bookseller, Muybridge returned to England at the end of the 1850's due to head injuries gained in a stagecoach accident. He returned to San Francisco in 1866 as a photographer, which he became famous for.

In 1874, Muybridge was contacted by Leland Stanford, a race-horse owner and ex-Governor of California. Stanford commissioned Muybridge to prove his claim that at some point during a horses gallop all four hooves are off the ground. Muybridge developed the process of instantaneous motion picture capture to take multiple photographs while the horse was galloping. This project was put on hold in 1874, when Muybridge was charged for murdering Major Harry Larkyns, who he suspected to be his wife's lover, by shooting him with a shot gun. An insanity plea due to his previous head injury was dismissed, even though friends had testified that it changed hid personality for the worse. It was soon ruled as justifiable homicide and acquitted. Stanford had paid for Muybridge's criminal defense throughout the trial.

Muybridge then returned to the horse project, which he finished successfully. However, his relationship with Stanford came to an end in 1882, when Stanford commissioned a book on the project and not only omitted Muybridge's photographs but also gave him very little credit. This led Muybridge filing a lawsuit, which was unsuccessful.

Muybridge also went to Central America in 1877, after the acquittal of his murder trial, to take photographs. There, he had a son, whom he put up in an orphanage upon his return to the states.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Muybridge

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