A Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) depicted the 19th century American West and pioneered studies of movement and moving image projection. Reflecting his immense influence on a wide range of modern cultures, Muybridge's work has been collected by various institutions. However, many custodian institutions rarely present the entirety of his diverse work but address only the limited aspects of Muybridge's achievement and legacy. Bequeathed by Muybridge, Kingston Museum's collection is significant since it comprises examples of his own work from all stages of his career. Specifically, the collection embodies Muybridge's successful, later career as a lecturer of moving images, which has often been overlooked by others in that isolated presentation.
This study aims to evaluate the implications of Kingston Museum's Muybridge Collection for the integrated understanding of Muybridge's life, work and legacy. Centring on the thorough study of the Kingston Collection, I have visited over 15 institutions in the US, UK and France and have been exploring their Muybridge collections in depth. I hope that this extensive mapping will manifest the interconnectedness among the different collections and a need for a holistic approach to advance the current image-focused Muybridge studies. My research will, in particular, highlight the significance of the Kingston Collection for its distinctive connection to Muybridge, as well as its unique and historic artefacts.
The study also investigates how Kingston Museum can develop the effective interpretation and presentation of its collection in order to extend Muybridge's legacy and better engage with its audience. I will address the relevance which Muybridge's work still holds in the current digital culture, through consultation with a range of experts, artists and the public. Various case studies, including both Muybridge and other historical collections, will also be referenced in making practical recommendations.