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Dundee Advertiser, Monday, November 24th 1890

 

THE ARMISTEAD LECTURES

 

Mr Muybridge on “Animal Locomotion in relation to Art.”

 

Mr Muybridge, of the University of Pennsylvania, is to deliver the next lecture in the Armistead course on Thursday first, his subject being “The Science of animal Locomotion in its Relation to Design in Art.” This is a topic upon which no one is more qualified to speak than Mr Muybridge, since the existence of all the information already collected on the subject is due to him alone.

 

When he first brought under public notice in 1882 his ingenious system of taking photographs of animals continuously whilst they were in motion, it was thought that his discoveries would have the effect of revolutionising art, since the attitudes of an animal in walking or running, as displayed by his photographs, seemed to contradict all artistic, traditions. Since that time, however, his further investigations have so fully confirmed his theories, and so completely the conventional fallacies of the artists in this matter, that it is vain to attempt to gainsay his statements. One curious result of his labour has been to show that what has long been considered an unnatural in the attitudes of the horse on the Parthenon frieze and shows here amongst examples of ancient art is really truer to nature than the efforts of more modern sculptors.

 

M r Muybridge is of English birth, though a citizen of the United States, and is by profession a photographer. It was in 1872 that he made the first lateral photograph of a horse trotting at full speed, but it was not until 1877 that he applied instantaneous photography to the recording of the phenomenons of locomotion. Even with the inconvenient “wet plate” process his photographs were so surprising that they attracted the notice alike of artists and of scientists, and his series of pictures showing the horse in motion were exhibited by him in Europe in 1882. In the following year the University of Pennsylvania, convinced of the importance of his investigations, placed a sum of money at his disposal to enable him to proceed with the study, and he now amassed a great number pf photographs that prove the accuracy of his theory of locomotion beyond dispute. Many of these pictures will be shown by Mr Muybridge on Thursday night by the oxy-hydrogen light, and the lecture cannot fail to be both instructive and amusing.