Daily Archives: February 11, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “The First Filmed Kiss”

“The First Filmed Kiss”

Beverly, Massachusetts – February 3, 2011 – First filmed kiss
rediscovered and to be shared with the public on Valentine’s Day as
part of the launch of the Eadweard Muybridge Online Archive
( The Kiss, curiously between two unclothed women, was
produced as part of Muybridge’s famous 19th century motion studies.

The Kiss, like most of the image sequences in the Muybride Online
archive, was produced some time between 1872 and 1885, significantly
before the invention of the motion picture camera. It was created
using banks of still cameras firing in sequence. Artist and educator
David Gordon has compiled the frames into a digital film loop showing
the kiss once again in motion, possibly for the first time since it
was shot in the late 1800’s.

This labor of love is being shared on Valentine’s Day, in hopes of
bringing greater attention to the fascinating work of Muybridge, “The
Father of Film” and to the Muybridge Online Archive. For the first
time the general public, artists and academics will have easy access
to the majority of Eadweard Muybridge’s groundbreaking and beautiful
photographic studies of humans and animals in motion. These extremely
high resolution photographs, including all eleven volumes of Animal
Locomotion, will be provided free of charge and without restriction,
and will be suitable for printing. This project would not have been
possible without the support and encouragement of the Boston Public
Library who kindly provided access to Muybridge’s original
publications and helped to digitize thousands of images.

The Kiss, like many of the photographic series Muybridge created, was
intended to inform the scientific and artistic understanding of human
motion. To that end, many of these photos are of minimally clad or
unclothed people engaged in everyday activities such as walking or
working. He may have chosen to photograph the kiss with two women
because in the context of Victorian culture this was more likely to be
seen as innocent. For this reason many of Muybridge’s photos showing
interactions between what might be expected to be men and women use
women for both roles.

Oberlin Alumnus Dave Gordon, the creator and curator of the Muybridge
online archive, is an artist and academic, teaching at North Shore
Community College in Beverly, MA. For a number of years, he has been
working to create a short film called Victorian Dream entirely from
Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs which upon its completion may be the
oldest narrative film ever made. The impetus for the Muybridge online
archive emerged from the difficulty Gordon had gaining access to
Muybridge’s images and his frustration with the desire of many
institutions and individuals to profit from this long out of copyright

We invite you to view the Eadweard Muybridge Online Archive, under
construction at
Launch date: February 14th, 2011

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Pop Up Books at Bowdoin College

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