The Artist Birthday Series

Eadweard Muybridge

Today’s Artist Birthday: Eadweard Muybridge (9 April 1830 – 8 May 1904), pioneer in photography and motion pictures

Edward Muybridge was an English photographer, important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and early work in motion-picture projection. He was an extensive traveler and prolific inventor, whose adventures included an almost miraculous recovery from a severe brain injury, and being acquitted of murder after shooting his wife’s lover at point blank range in front of witnesses.

Eadweard Muybridge: pioneer of photography and motion pictures
Eadweard Muybridge: pioneer of photography and motion pictures

Muybridge was born in Kingston upon Thames, in the county of Surrey in England, on 9 April 1830 to John and Susan Muggeridge. He changed his name several times over the years, starting with “Muggridge,” and then in 1855, in the United States, he used the surname “Muygridge”. After he returned from Britain to the United States in 1867, he used the surname “Muybridge”. While traveling on a photography expedition in the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America in 1875, the photographer even went so far as to advertise his works under the name “Eduardo Santiago Muybridge.” After an 1882 trip to England, he changed the spelling of his first name to “Eadweard”, the Old English form of his name. The spelling was probably derived from the spelling of King Edward’s name as shown on the plinth of the Kingston coronation stone, which had been re-erected in the town in 1850 100 yards from Muybridge’s childhood family home. He used “Eadweard Muybridge” for the rest of his career, but the spelling options continued after his death, with his gravestone carrying the incorrect “Eadweard Maybridge.”

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2 thoughts on “Eadweard Muybridge

  1. Hi Terri,

    Excellent piece, Muybridge is a fascinating character! I’m curious about the picture of Eadweard in his youth- most images of him depict a wizened hirsute man. Do you happen to know where this portrait was taken / have any information about its origin? I’d love to know more!

    1. Hi Wes, and thank you. And I agree…what a character he was! As for the photo of him as a younger man, I am afraid I don’t have any more info on it. I found it on a couple of sites as his portrait (most reliable being the “Goodreads” biography of him), and though the lack of info did give me pause for concern as to its authenticity, I decided to use it anyway. Looking at his features, the eyes especially, I believe it is him, but unfortunately I don’t know what year or where it was taken or who the photographer was. If you run across any information about it, please let me know and I will add it to the image!

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for stopping in. I appreciate it!

      Best of all things beautiful to you,
      ~ Terri

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