Exhibition on Scientific Photography and Film

2 October 2019

In conjunction with the St Andrews Photography Festival, Professor Michael Cowan has curated a new exhibition Tracing Movement: Locomotion Study, Photography and the Emergence of Cinema.

Drawing on materials from St Andrews' Special Collections, the exhibition examines how the science of animal locomotion helped to catalyse the emergence of high-speed photography and film.

St Andrews was a centre for animal locomotion studies on account of the work of James Bell Pettigrew, and part of the exhibition is dedicated to uncovering Pettigrew's forgotten links with cinematographic pioneers such as Eadweard Muybridge and √Čtienne-Jules Marey. But the exhibition also expands thematically over four themed panels to consider the broader role of movement at stake in both the science and cinema of the early twentieth century, as well as their links to other artistic practices of the time.

The exhibition showcases pages and plates from works by Pettigrew, Marey and Muybridge, as well as several excerpts from scientific and popular cinema of the early twentieth century.

The exhibition runs from 4th to 31st October 2019.