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Over 100 groundbreaking historical photographs donated to the Vancouver Art Gallery
Harold E. Edgerton, Bullet Through Bulb, 1936, silver gelatin print, 40.5 x 50.5 cm, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Angela and David Feldman, the Menkes Family, Marc and Alex Muzzo, Tory Ross, the Rose Baum-Sommerman Family, Shabin and Nadir Mohamed, VAG 2013.18.20
VANCOUVER, BC.- The Vancouver Art Gallery has received a significant donation of artworks of Harold Edgerton (1903 – 1990) and Eadweard Muybridge (1830 – 1904), two giants in the history of modern and contemporary photography celebrated for their revolutionary works that expanded our understanding of time and motion. A selection of these masterpieces will be on display as part of the forthcoming exhibition Out of Sight: New Acquisitions, opening at the Vancouver Art Gallery on March 29, 2014.

A remarkable collection of 80 photographs by Harold Edgerton is donated by Toronto-based collectors Angela and David Feldman, the Menkes Family, Marc and Alex Muzzo, Tory Ross, the Rose Baum-Sommerman Family, Shabin and Nadir Mohamed, and 27 photographs by Eadweard Muybridge are donated by Vancouver-based gallerist Andy Sylvester.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of these donors from Toronto and Vancouver ,” said Kathleen S. Bartels, the Director of Vancouver Art Gallery. “Our permanent collection benefits tremendously from these extraordinary artworks that bear witness to the development of photography. They assist in telling the narrative of art history, and further expand the breadth and depth of our Gallery’s collection.”

Harold Edgerton
Harold Edgerton was one of the artists featured in the Museum of Modern Art ’s first exhibition of photography in 1937. A trained scientist, Edgerton used photography to extend the vision of the human eye in order to see the movement of micro-seconds. Straddling the disciplines of both science and art, his work greatly benefited the development of photography and other diverse disciplines such as medicine, athletics, journalism, espionage, film, underwater exploration and nuclear research. He is credited with inventing ultra high-speed, stroboscopic and stop-action photography, taking pictures of events that occurred too quickly or too slowly for the human eye to perceive.

These 80 photographs, now part of the Gallery’s permanent collection, constitute a significant body of work by Harold Edgerton. Spanning almost 50 years (from 1933 to 1980) and representing the full scope of his career, these striking and dramatic photographs exemplify Edgerton’s ground-breaking approach to photography. His experiments with stroboscopes allowed him to capture incredibly minute details such as the froth of air bubbles in a glass of water, the splash from a drop of milk, and the moment a bullet strikes an object or leaves a gun. This collection of photographs speaks about the diverse range of subjects that Edgerton photographed over his lifetime.

Eadweard Muybridge
Born in England and having immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s, Eadweard Muybridge is renowned for his stop-motion photographs of human and animal movement. His earliest stop-motion images of a running horse were conceived to prove that all four hooves of a horse left the ground when it was galloping. Muybridge’s work emphasizes sequence, yet its logic is achieved only by the scrutiny of the singular image. He recognized that the mechanical truth of a subject’s movement could be understood only when time was stopped, but its fundamental nature was recognizable only in its movement.

All of the 27 donated works to the Gallery’s permanent collection are from Muybridge’s preeminent Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements that have been recently featured in the exhibition Walking and Falling: Jim Campbell, Chris Marker and Eadweard Muybridge at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2011. Until recently the Gallery has held six works by Muybridge in the permanent collection. With this new addition, the Gallery now holds a significant archive of the type of work for which the artist is most identified with: images of men, women, children and animals in motion.





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