Mrs Seoyoung Kim

Research project: Eadweard Muybridge: An evaluation of his legacy and the collection bequeathed to Kingston Museum


A Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) recorded 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.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Eadweard Muybridge: An evaluation of his legacy and the collection bequeathed to Kingston Museum
  • Research supervisor: Professor Stephen Barber
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Fran Lloyd


As well as undertaking my part-time PhD, I work as curator at Kingston Museum where I oversee many aspects of museum activities and collections management, including the museum's internationally significant Muybridge collection. I am also a freelance curator and have curated various contemporary art exhibitions. Previously, I worked as a conservator for various museums, such as the Wallace Collection, Glasgow Museums and St. Louis Art Museum (USA) and gained expertise in conservation, collections care and material analysis.

I have published and presented many articles and papers on various subjects on heritage and historic collections, including collections care and management, scientific analysis, conservation issues, outreach and access.

My main research interests are the life, work and legacy of Eadweard Muybridge, in particular, within the context of institutional collections. I am also interested in the interdisciplinary presentation of historic collections and audience engagement.

Areas of research interest

  • Eadweard Muybridge
  • Museum Studies
  • Curation
  • Audience Engagement
  • Collections Care
  • Historic Collections
  • Photography
  • Moving Image
  • Chronophotography
  • Contemporary Art


  • MA in Conservation of Historic Objects, De Montfort University
  • BA in Art Studies, Hong-Ik University, South Korea

Funding or awards received

  • AHRC (TECHNE) funding
  • Paul Mellon Research Support Grant