Mrs Seoyoung Kim

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

Abstract

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 culture, 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 image, 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, over 15 institutions in the US, UK and France were visited and their Muybridge collections were explored in depth. This extensive mapping has manifested the interconnectedness among the different collections and a need for a holistic approach to advance the current image-focused Muybridge studies. This research, in particular, highlights 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 to better engage with its audience. Various case studies, including both Muybridge and other historical collections, are referenced in making practical recommendations. The consultation with a range of experts, artists and the public has established the importance of providing tailored relevance, which Muybridge's work still holds in the current digital culture.

  • 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

Biography

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

Qualifications

  • 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