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Best of Photo & Film On Display at George Eastman House

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film

is showcasing the treasures of its photography, motion picture and technology collections via the exhibition titled, “The Best of Photo & Film: Right Before Your Eyes.” More than 200 unique and historically significant artifacts, presented together for the first time, will create this rare experience on view through Apr. 11, 2004.

The motion picture collection spotlights clips from some of its most prestigious restorations including “Peter Pan” (1924), “The Lost World” (1925), “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925), “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1928) and “The King of Kings” (1927), as well one of its newest “Napoli che canta” (1926). The film score for “Metropolis” (1926), and scripts for “The Ten Commandments” (1923) and “Call Her Savage” (1932) can also be viewed together with treasures from the technology collection including a 3-strip Technicolor camera (ca. 1933) and Charles Rosher’s 35mm camera that bears the signature of silent film star Mary Pickford (1908).

The photography display features feature iconic photographs such as Mathew Brady’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln; the first photograph of lightning; celebrity portraits by Nickolas Muray and Arnold Newman; Alfred Stieglitz’s “The Steerage;” and Robert Capa’s “D-Day, Omaha Beach.” The exhibition also will showcase variations of famous photographs, such as Lewis Wickes Hine’s “Power House Mechanic” alongside the other “runners up” who posed for Hine in the same set-up but were not the final choice; Edward Steichen’s famous portrait of Paul Robeson, in which the subject appears stern, alongside an image from the same shoot where Robeson is laughing; and two photographs of Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” as evidence that edits were made by the photographer to her most celebrated image.

Several cameras are featured alongside significant photographs, including the first commercially sold camera, a Daguerreotype outfit (1840); the first Kodak camera (1888); Ansel Adams’s first camera, a Brownie (ca. 1901), and his Kodak Vest Pocket (ca. 1916); Alfred Stieglitz’s Eastman View No. 2D Camera (1922); Joe Rosenthal’s Anniversary Speed Graphic that captured the famous photograph of the flag raising at Iwo Jima (1944); and a NASA Lunar Orbiter (1966).

Visitors have the opportunity to become part of the picture themselves, posing as a rigger high above New York City, in front of a backdrop of an enlarged photograph that documents the rise of the Empire State Building, or on a movie set in the furry clutches of King Kong himself.

“The Best of Photo & Film” is made possible by M&T Bank and Preferred Care. The George Eastman House is located at 900 East Avenue in Rochester, NY.