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Circular Wave System

Berenice Abbott (American, 1898 – 1991)
Circular Wave System from the portfolio The Science Pictures, 1982

1958–1961 negative; printed 1982
Gelatin silver print
Bank of America Collection

© 2019 Berenice Abbott / Masters / Getty Images

Golf Drive by Densmore Shute

Harold Edgerton (American, 1903 – 1990)
Golf Drive by Densmore Shute from the portfolio Seeing the Unseen, Twelve Photographs, 1977

1938 negative; printed 1977
Gelatin silver print
Bank of America Collection

© 2019 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum.

Splash of a Milk Drop

Harold Edgerton (American, 1903 – 1990)
Splash of a Milk Drop, 1957, from Seeing the Unseen: Twelve Photographs, 1977

Dye transfer print, 1957 negative, 1976 print
Bank of America Collection

© 2019 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum.

Daisy Cantering

Eadweard Muybridge (English, 1830 – 1904)
Daisy Cantering, Saddled, plate no. 616, from Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements, 1872 – 1885, 1887

Collotype
Bank of America Collection

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CURRENT EXHIBITION

Science in Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott and Harold Edgerton, Works from the Bank of America Collection

…There needs to be a friendly interpreter between science and the layman. I believe that photography can be this spokesman, as no other form of expression can be; for photography, the art of our time, the mechanical scientific medium which matches the pace and character of our era, is attuned to the function. There is an essential unity between photography, science’s child, and science, the parent.
— Berenice Abbott, Photography and Science, 1939

Photography itself was born out of a passionate engagement between art and science. The medium’s pioneers, Josef Nicéphore Niépce, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot were inventors, scientists and mathematicians. The results of their intellectual endeavors dramatically affected art and forged a reciprocal relationship between art and science that has continued to this day.

This exhibition of 36 photographs offers a rich and extensive view of the scientific studies done by three of photography’s greats: Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott and Harold Edgerton. Each of these artists invented devices to study and represent aspects of light and motion scientifically and photographically. Not only do their works clearly and elegantly reveal scientific phenomena, but in them their individualized artistic sensibility is also evident. These photographs are therefore not merely scientific studies, but art unto themselves.

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CURRENT EXHIBITION

Science in Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott and Harold Edgerton, Works from the Bank of America Collection

…There needs to be a friendly interpreter between science and the layman. I believe that photography can be this spokesman, as no other form of expression can be; for photography, the art of our time, the mechanical scientific medium which matches the pace and character of our era, is attuned to the function. There is an essential unity between photography, science’s child, and science, the parent.
— Berenice Abbott, Photography and Science, 1939

Photography itself was born out of a passionate engagement between art and science. The medium’s pioneers, Josef Nicéphore Niépce, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot were inventors, scientists and mathematicians. The results of their intellectual endeavors dramatically affected art and forged a reciprocal relationship between art and science that has continued to this day.

This exhibition of 36 photographs offers a rich and extensive view of the scientific studies done by three of photography’s greats: Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott and Harold Edgerton. Each of these artists invented devices to study and represent aspects of light and motion scientifically and photographically. Not only do their works clearly and elegantly reveal scientific phenomena, but in them their individualized artistic sensibility is also evident. These photographs are therefore not merely scientific studies, but art unto themselves.

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© 2019 Berenice Abbott / Masters / Getty Images; © 2019 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum.; © 2019 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum.

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