Phantom Skies and Shifting Ground
Landscape, Culture, and Rephotography in Eadweard Muybridge's Illustrations of Central America
Publication: Sep 17
12.25 x 10.75
130 color photos
A fascinating collaborative investigation of some of the earliest photographs of Latin America by the renowned nineteenth-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge
In 1875, after being acquitted for the murder of his wife’s lover, Eadweard Muybridge spent a year photographing along the Central American Pacific Coast, particularly in Guatemala and Panamá. Upon his return to California in 1876, he published a very limited number of albums of the photographs (11 are known), each of which was unique in size and scope. In 2007, photographer Byron Wolfe (born 1967) tracked down and cataloged every known Muybridge Central American photograph. Then, with cultural geographer Scott Brady, he traveled to many of Muybridge’s sites to rephotograph them. Through photographic collage, interpretive rephotography, illustrations and essays, this book examines an exceptionally rare series by Muybridge. Also included is a catalog of every known Muybridge Central American picture.
Published in partnership with Radius Books
In addition, the website http://scalar.library.temple.edu/phantom-skies-and-shifting-ground/index is intended as both a preview and complement to the print publication. Animations and videos are presented here to help introduce the visual language and subsequent interpretation of Muybridge's photographs. There are numerous samples of original Muybridge photographs, rephotographs and responses, as well as a sample field notes essay. Additional collateral material such as a bibliography with an index of institutions that hold rare Muybridge albums is also available on this site.