The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at UT, presents an investigation of the relationship between art, science, and photography with its new exhibition, Science in Motion: The Photographic Studies of Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott, and Harold Edgerton, Works from the Bank of America Collection. The exhibition runs from September 20 to January 5, 2020.
The exhibition, which is loaned through Bank of America’s Art in Our Communities program, highlights three photographers: Muybridge, an experimenter in early photographic processes; Abbott, an artist; and Edgerton, a scientist. Each photographer pushed the artistic limits of the medium by inventing devices to study and represent light and motion, allowing the public to see what was previously unseen.
“We are so excited to have Science in Motion at the McClung,” said Cat Shteynberg, assistant director and curator of arts and culture collections. “It is so gratifying to see these well-known photographs, familiar from popular culture and art history textbooks, in person. Our campus community is thrilled to have the works of important photographers on display and to use the exhibition as the basis for many university classes and public programs this fall.”
Included in the exhibition are 36 photographs that explore how photography created a new way of seeing the world. Muybridge’s motion studies of animals and humans, created during the first decades after the medium’s birth, were the earliest accurate representations of movement in photography and earned him the title “the father of the motion picture.” Edgerton created the strobe light, among other inventions, which allowed him to capture incredible high-speed events such as a bullet piercing an apple. Abbott used her photographs to create close-up illustrations of scientific principles such as magnetic fields and the properties of soap bubbles.
“We are proud to bring this educational and engaging exhibit to Knoxville for people of all ages to enjoy free of charge at one of our local treasures, the McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee,” said John Hall, Knoxville market president for Bank of America. “At Bank of America, we believe in using the power of the arts to help our local economy thrive, educate and enrich societies, and create greater cultural understanding.”
In addition to the physical exhibition, the museum will offer several programs, including a film collaboration with UT Libraries that inspects the intersections of science, photography, and preservation.
“The film program offers the audience an insight into early motion picture making, pioneering microscopy and time-lapse techniques, early X-ray films, and avant-garde film art,” said Louisa Trott, digital projects librarian. “Pioneering filmmaking techniques not only reveal scientific phenomena but create captivating aesthetical qualities, as in the works of Edgerton and Abbott.”
Programming is scheduled throughout the exhibition:
- Tuesday, September 24: “Beyond Sight and Motion: The Intersections of Contemporary Technology, Art, and Physics,” a 5:30 p.m. panel discussion
- Thursday, October 10: “Silents in Motion,” a 6 p.m. film screening at Hodges Library
- Saturday, November 9: “Moving Pictures,” a free Family Day program from 1 to 4 p.m.
- Monday, November 11: “Freeze Frame,” a stroller tour from 10 to 11 a.m.
- Thursday, November 14: “Cinema of Science,” a 6 p.m. film screening
- Wednesday, December 4: “Preservation Party: Picture Perfect,” a ticketed event from 6 to 8 p.m.
About the McClung Museum
The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Groups may schedule tours by calling 865-974-2144 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information booth at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on weekdays. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available Monday through Saturday on the Knoxville Trolley Orange Line.
About Bank of America Art in Our Communities®
The Bank of America Art in our Communities Program was established in 2009 in order to share the company’s art collection with the widest possible audience. Comprising the art collections of the predecessor banks that are now part of Bank of America, the program offers museums and nonprofit galleries the opportunity to borrow complete or customized exhibitions at no cost. The public is able to enjoy new art installations at its local museums, while the museums themselves are able to generate vital revenue. Since 2009, more than 130 exhibitions have been loaned through this one-of-a-kind program.
Zack Plaster (865-974-2144, email@example.com)
Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921, firstname.lastname@example.org)