Animal Locomotion acquired by National Gallery of Art, Washington

Huxley-Parlour Gallery is pleased to announce the acquisition of eleven plates from Eadweard Muybridge’s seminal Animal Locomotion series by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The images, which capture both people and animals mid-movement, were seismic not only within the world of photography: their impact was felt among the wider art world as artists including Degas and Thomas Eakins utilised the photographs to render their paintings closer to life.

The inscribed Muybridge collotypes will join works by other significant 19th-century British photographers represented in the Gallery’s collection, including those by Julia Margaret Cameron, Robert Adamson, Roger Fenton, Oscar Gustaf Rejlander, and Peter Henry Emerson. The collection further contains important examples of photography’s application to the realm of 19th-century science, including a rare group of 32 prints made in the 1850s by the physiologist and photographer Duchenne de Boulogne, who used photography to document the physiological basis of human expression.

The collection of photographs originates in the institution’s early history, with Georgia O’Keeffe’s donation of 1,311 photographs by her late husband Alfred Stieglitz in 1949. It has since grown to over 16,000 works, encompassing the history of the medium from 1839 to the present.

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