Mrs Seoyoung Kim

Research project: Eadweard Muybridge: A study of his life and work through an inter-institutional examination of the Kingston Museum bequest and other collections


A Kingston-born photographer, Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), depicted the 19th-century American West and pioneered the photographic study of motion and moving image projection. Muybridge's work has been collected by different institutions, reflecting his immense influence on a wide range of modern cultures. However, many custodian organisations do not usually present the entirety of Muybridge's diverse work but mainly focus on the aspects of his achievement related to their collections. Bequeathed by Muybridge, Kingston Museum's collection is cohesive and comprehensive. The collection, as a whole, represents different stages of Muybridge's life and his photographic career. Most importantly, it embodies his successful, but often overlooked, later career as a lantern lecturer. 

Centred on the evaluation of the Kingston Museum bequest, this research aims to extend the current understanding of Muybridge's life and work through an inter-institutional investigation of over twenty Muybridge collections in the US, UK, and France. The first-hand research led to new findings, including previously less-known details about Muybridge's earlier experimental chronophotographs, the Attitudes of Animals in Motion (1881), and his unpublished images. This integrated study manifests the interconnection among the collections. It also affirms a need for a holistic approach to advance the current image-centred Muybridge studies. Bearing distinctive traces of Muybridge's life and work, Kingston Museum's collection plays a vital role in this new, collection-focused study. The museum's collection is particularly significant for its unique representation of Muybridge's lecturing career. 

This research also explores the implications of Muybridge's legacy. It investigates how Kingston Museum can develop an effective interpretation and presentation of its collection to extend Muybridge's legacy and enhance audience engagement with its collection. Case studies of different Muybridge and other historical collections are analysed for a broad examination of this aspect and practical recommendations. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Eadweard Muybridge: A study of his life and work through an inter-institutional examination of the Kingston Museum bequest and other collections
  • 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
  • Huntington Library Short-Term Fellowship