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Sunday, December 17, 2017

MOMA exhibit showcases Muybridge's contributions to the art of photography

Sweeping scene: Pictures of Yosemite Valley, such as this photograph of Vernal Fall taken in 1872, are among the varied pursuits of Muybridge’s illustrious career. Sweeping scene: Pictures of Yosemite Valley, such as this photograph of Vernal Fall taken in 1872, are among the varied pursuits of Muybridge’s illustrious career.

The rows of black-and-white photographs, each slightly different, feel like a slow-motion film: two men boxing, a horse and rider galloping, a cockatoo in flight.

Eadweard Muybridge’s groundbreaking work is the focus of “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change,” which opened Saturday at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The fascinating exhibition, which originated at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., includes more than 300 objects created from 1857 to 1893.

“Before Muybridge, you could not stop motion with a camera,” says Philip Brookman, chief curator at the Corcoran. “He developed a new technology that completely changed how we see the world.”

Although he was born in England, Muybridge spent much of his career as a photographer in San Francisco. The show includes striking panoramic views of The City as well as prints of the construction of City Hall.

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