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“Exposure” reveal screens in The Guild | News

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“Exposure” reveal screens in The Guild | News

Actor Gary Oldman, who collected the works of early photographer Edward Muybridge, is interviewed in the documentary Exposing Muybridge. Courtesy Revealing Muybridge.

From early large-scale photographs of Yosemite Valley to ground-breaking studies of the movement of a galloping horse, it’s no mystery what made photographer Eadweard Muybridge famous, but many aspects of his complex life are not so well known. Filmmaker Mark Shaffer delves into the man behind the lens in Exposing Muybridge, a feature-length documentary about the photographer.

The Stanford Historical Society is hosting back-to-back screenings of the film, each followed by a panel discussion moderated by Shaffer, on March 16 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm at The Guild Theater in Menlo Park.

Well before Silicon Valley existed, Muybridge may have been one of the area’s first technological disruptors, as much of his motion research (considered a precursor to film) took place in Palo Alto, funded by his patron Leland Stanford—who also owned Muybridge horse subjects. But like many disruptors, his groundbreaking work was met with personal turmoil, at least for a while. In Muybridge’s case, it was a murder trial in which he was accused of killing his wife’s lover.

Detail from “Horse in Motion” photographed by Eadweard Muybridge at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, June 19, 1878. From the film “Exposing Muybridge.” Courtesy of Cantor Arts Center.

Exposing Muybridge is based on interviews with scholars, photographers and collectors, including Stanford Historian Emeritus Richard White, as well as actor Gary Oldman, who is a Muybridge collector, and includes numerous photographs from collections at the Cantor Arts Center and the Stanford Libraries.

The first panel discussion, following the 4:00 p.m. screening, features Corey Keller, former curator of photography at SFMOMA who served as an advisor to the film, and Scott Delp, professor of bioengineering at Stanford and recipient of the 2021 Muybridge Award. while the post-screening discussion at 7pm also features Keller along with Ryan Coffey, senior scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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