Monthly Archives: April 2012

Muybridge Captures Motion


Today’s ever useful Google doodle for highlights that it’s the 182th birthday of Eadweard Muybridge (née Edward James Muggeridge), ground breaking photographer and inventor of the Zoopraxiscope, a proto-film projector variation on the Zoetrope.

While working on a project to film galloping horses at high speed (proving that all four feet of a trotting horse come off the ground in their strides), Muybridge refined his automatic shutters to the point that his ‘system of magnetic releases… gave an exposure two-thousandths of a second.'(The Film 100, p.112) Muybridge’s work on the mechanisms involved in capturing a sequence of images at high speed helped spur the development of the motion picture camera in Edison’s lab. The actual images have provided untold inspiration to animators, photographer and anatomists, as well as becoming part of our collective visual vocabulary.

To explore Muybridge’s work and legacy further:

Animals in motion / Eadweard Muybridge – QP301 .M83 1994


The male and female figure in motion : 60 classic photographic sequences / Eadweard Muybridge – QP301 .M86 1984


Muybridge’s human figure in motion / Eadweard Muybridge. – QP301 .M85 2007 CD-ROM


Eadweard Muybridge / Marta Braun – TR849.M87 B73 2010


Landmarks of early film – V-F B573 Lan DVD


River of shadows : Eadweard Muybridge and the technological wild west / Rebecca Solnit – TR849.M87 S55 2003

Prom Night + a 400 lbs Camera = Forever


It’s that time of year: Prom Night approaches. NPR has a slideshow of prom portraits by Mary Ellen Mark, taken with ‘a 400-pound Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera’ for incredibly detailed images.

A small sampling of Mary Ellen Mark’s work in the Visual Arts Library:

Portraits / Mary Ellen Mark – TR681.F3 M38 1997


Mary Ellen Mark : American odyssey, 1963-1999 / poem by Maya Angelou – TR654 .M3655 1999


Seen behind the scene : forty years of photographing on set / Mary Ellen Mark – TR681.F3 M38 2008


Falkland Road : prostitutes of Bombay / photographs & text by Mary Ellen Mark – TR681.P73 M3 2005

And for another photographer’s take on prom portraits:

Prom night / Elissa Stein – GV1746 .S74 2005

American Girls and Office Women


MFA Photo student Ilona Swarzc has posted an impressive series of portraits of young American girls with their American Girl brand dolls. The dolls “were conceived to be anti-Barbie toys modeled on the body of a nine-year old.” But while the products may avoid imparting sexualized body ideals to young girls, “the branding behind the doll perpetuates domesticity and traditional gender roles.”

Sex and the Office: Evolving Depictions of Working Women, a slideshow of advertisements and illustrations, explores representations of women in the office, from the 1890s to the 1960s.

For more on representations of women in art and culture:

Mirror images : women, surrealism, and self-representation / edited by Whitney Chadwick – N8354 .M57 1998

The art of reflection : women artists’ self-portraiture in the twentieth century / Marsha Meskimmon- N71 .M45 1996


In her own image : women’s self-representation in twentieth-century art / Danielle Knafo – N8354 .K58 2009


Idols of perversity : fantasies of feminine evil in fin-de-siècle culture / Bram Dijkstra – NX652.W6 D55 1986


Facing beauty : painted women & cosmetic art / Aileen Ribeiro – NX650.F45 R53 2011

Towards a New Species of People


Nan Goldin interview / slide show : >>I’ve been taking pictures of children since the early 1980s, and it’s become increasingly important to me. I see a continuum in the children of my friends, some of whom have died. It’s about hoping that my friends will bring up a new species of people.<<
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In the Visual Arts Library (and much, much more):

The beautiful smile : the Hasselblad Award 2007 / Nan Goldin – TR680 .G65 2007


The ballad of sexual dependency / Nan Goldin – TR680 .G65 1986

Influences – Bourdin, Cassavetes, Strömholm, Petersen, Sander:


Guy Bourdin : Polaroids – TR647 .B67 2009


Faces / written and directed by John Cassvetes – V-F C369 Fac DVD


Arbus, Model, Strömholm / edited by Anna Tellgren – TR655 .A73 2005


Frenchkiss / Anders Petersen – TR820.5 .P45 2008


People of the 20th century : a cultural work of photographs divided into seven groups / August Sander – TR680 .S22613 2002 v.01-07

To Hood Or Not To Hood


The tragedy of the Trayvon Martin killing has generated more and more attention as the facts of the case come out. Amidst all the issues brought up by the case – racism, gun laws, stereotyping – the purported role of Martin’s attire, specifically his hoodie, has drawn special attention. The New Yorker has a slide show of drawings by R. Kikuo Johnson on the theme.

Cartoonist Jen Sorensen, of the cartoon Slowpoke, addresses ‘the apparel of peril’ in her most recent comic:

To delve into the subject of stereotypes of race and violence in the US, particularly in regard to black men, here are some titles to consider:

Black male : representations of masculinity in contemporary American art / Thelma Golden – NX652.A37 G65 1994


Black looks : race and representation / Bell Hooks – E185.86 .H734 1992 (currently on Reserve)


Seeing a color-blind future : the paradox of race / Patricia J. Williams – E185.615 .W493 1998


The envy of the world : on being a Black man in America / Ellis Cose. – E185.86 .C58829 2002

Playing the race card : melodramas of black and white from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson / Linda Williams – P94.5 .M552 U67 2001


Color-blind : seeing beyond race in a race-obsessed world / Ellis Cose – E185.615.C68 1997


Race-ing art history : critical readings in race and art history – N5303 .R27 2002