Mrs Seoyoung Kim

Research project: Reinterpretation of Kingston Museum's Muybridge Collection for Contemporary Public Engagement


Kingston Museum holds one of four pre-eminent collections of Eadweard Muybridge, a Kingston-born Victorian photographer who pioneered studies of movement and motion picture projection. The Collection has a distinctive local connection since it was donated by Muybridge himself in 1904. However, considering the international influence and legacy of Muybridge's works throughout modern culture, Muybridge and his work have a relatively low local public profile and recognition, and the Collection has not been fully utilised and connected with contemporary local audiences. A need for the reinterpretation of the Collection, using creative and engaging methods, has been identified. The Muybridge Collection will be reinterpreted by exploring and presenting it through innovative and creative contemporary arts, along with other Muybridge-focused public programmes at Kingston Museum from 2017.

My research will investigate the implications and impact of the reinterpretation of Kingston Museum's Muybridge Collection, through contemporary arts, for local public engagement. Alongside literature research into history and theories of the reinterpretation of historic collections, other UK museums with defined historic collections will be examined for the contemporary reinterpretation of their collections. Further research on other major Muybridge collections and their modern adaptation of the collections for contemporary audiences will also be undertaken.

Through this research, I hope to delineate the roles of contemporary arts for the reinterpretation of Kingston Museum's Muybridge Collection and their implications for current local audiences. I would also hope to extend the outcomes of the research for other local museums in the UK, by providing a practical case study for the reinterpretation of a defined historic collection. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Reinterpretation of Kingston Museum's Muybridge Collection for Contemporary Public Engagement
  • Research supervisor: Professor Stephen Barber
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Fran Lloyd


I have worked as curator at Kingston Museum since 2014, where I oversee all aspects of museum activities and collections management. I also work as a freelance curator and have curated various contemporary arts exhibitions. Prior to my current role as curator, I worked as a conservator for over 12 years for various museums, including the Wallace Collection, Glasgow Museums and St. Louis Art Museum (USA), and gained expertise in collections care and material analysis (in particular, X-ray fluorescence).

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 matters, outreach and access.

My research interests are Eadweard Muybridge Collection; Social history in London; New interpretation of historic collections; Audience engagement; Collections management; Collections Care; Collection Database; Conservation; Partnership working on cultural projects.

Areas of research interest

  • Eadweard Muybridge
  • Interpretation of historic museum collections
  • Curation
  • Audience engagement
  • Collections care
  • Contemporary arts


  • 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