George Eastman House
George Eastman House
George Eastman House in Rochester, New York
|Location||900 East Avenue, Rochester, New York, USA|
|Architect||J. Foster Warner
McKim, Mead and White (interiors)
|Governing body||George Eastman House Museum of Photography|
|NRHP Reference #||66000529|
|Added to NRHP||November 13, 1966|
|Designated NHL||November 13, 1966|
The George Eastman House is the world's oldest museum dedicated to photography  and one of the world's oldest film archives, opened to the public in 1949 in Rochester, New York, USA. World-renowned for its photograph and motion picture archives, the museum is also a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world. Home to the Dryden Theatre, a 535-seat repertory theater, the museum is located in and around the house built by George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
- 1 History
- 2 Governance
- 3 Collections
- 4 George Eastman House awards
- 5 The Eastman House
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The estate of George Eastman, including his house, was bequeathed upon his death to the University of Rochester. University presidents (first Benjamin Rush Rhees, then Alan Valentine) occupied the mansion as a residence for ten years. After World War II, the university transferred the property to a board of trustees.
The George Eastman House Museum of Photography was chartered in 1947 and the mansion adapted for its operation. Today, the museum's full name is the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. From the outset, the museum's mission has been to collect, preserve, and present the history of photography and film. The museum opened its doors on November 9, 1949, displaying its core collections in the former public rooms of Eastman's house.
The museum's original collections — including the Medicus collection of Civil War photographs by Alexander Gardner, Eastman Kodak Company's historical collection, and the massive Gabriel Cromer collection from France — attracted significant additions over the next 40 years. Entire archives, corporate collections, and artists' lifetime portfolios have been donated to the Eastman House, as well as an assemblage of rare motion pictures and ephemera.
By 1984, the museum's holdings were considered by many to be among the world's finest. However, with the collections growing at a rapid pace, the museum increasingly suffered from its own success. With an increasing number of materials to store, protect, and study, additional space became critical. DeWolff Partnership Architects was selected from an international design competition.
The challenging program required a museum, research and archival space of 68,000 square feet. The resulting design was a contemporary use of existing historical forms found in the Mansion and Carriage House. Roman brick, granite and cast stone reflect the spirit of the mansion. The historic gardens of the George Eastman Mansion were removed to facilitate the construction of the 22,000 square foot below-grade photographic facility. The gardens were recreated above.
The new facility opened to the public in January 1989.
In 1999, George Eastman House launched the Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation, made possible with grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program trains top photograph archivists and conservators from around the world.
In 1996, the museum opened the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center in nearby Chili, New York. One of only four film conservation centers in the United States (as of March 2006), the facility houses the museum's rare 35 mm prints made on cellulose nitrate. That same year, the Eastman House launched the first school of film preservation in the United States to teach restoration, preservation, and archiving of motion pictures. The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation is supported by a grant from The Louis B. Mayer Foundation.
George Eastman House has arranged groundbreaking exhibitions, such as New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape in 1975.
As of 2011, George Eastman House's endowment exceeded $50 million.
|Oscar N. Solbert||1947 – 1958|
|Beaumont Newhall||1958 – 1971|
|Van Deren Coke||1971 – 1972|
|Robert J. Doherty||1972 – 1981|
|Robert A. Mayer||1981 – 1989|
|James L. Enyeart||1989 – 1995|
|Anthony Bannon||1996 – 2012|
|Bruce Barnes||2012 – present|
Board of Trustees
George Eastman House is headed by a board of trustees, with Thomas H. Jackson being the chair. The board appoints the director of George Eastman House.
The museum's permanent collection comprises more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating from the invention of photography to the present day; 23,000 films and several million film stills; 43,000 publications; and more than 25,000 pieces of technology.
The photography collection embraces numerous landmark processes, objects of great rarity, and monuments of art history that trace the evolution of the medium as a technology, as a means of scientific and historical documentation, and as one of the most potent and accessible means of personal expression of the modern era. More than 14,000 photographers are represented in the collection, including virtually all the major figures in the history of the medium. The collection includes original vintage works produced by nearly every process and printing medium employed. Notable holdings include:
- A major collection of Ansel Adams’ early and vintage prints
- A major collection of nineteenth-century photographs of the American West
- A major collection of ca. 1890s-1910s glass negatives from French photojournalist Charles Chusseau-Flaviens
- One of the largest collections of daguerreotypes in the world
The museum is also an important repository of the work of Stieglitz and Edward Steichen.
Virtually every major photographer who has emerged in the past 50 years is represented, although the changing realities of the photographic marketplace dictate a greater selectivity in the acquisition of works than ever before. Notable contemporary photographers include Steve McCurry, Robert Frank, Ed Kashi, James Nachtwey, Sebastião Salgado, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz or Larry Towell.
Motion picture collection
The George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection is one of the major moving image archives in the United States. It was established in 1949 by the first curator of film, James Card (1915-2000) who helped to build George Eastman House as a leading force in the field with holdings of over 25,000 titles and a collection of stills, posters and papers with over 3 million artifacts.
George Eastman House awards
George Eastman House established the George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film in 1955 as the first film award given by an American archive and museum to honour artistic work of enduring value.
George Eastman House Honors Award
In 2009, it established the George Eastman House Honors Award, which is given to artists whose lifetime contribution embodies the traditions and values championed by the international museum. The George Eastman House Honors Award's historically first recipient became a multi-winner of Academy Awards and Golden Globes, Jessica Lange.
The Eastman House
George Eastman (1854–1932) built his residence at 900 East Avenue between 1902 and 1905. He created a unique urban estate complete with 10.5 acres (42,000 m2) of working farm land, formal gardens, greenhouses, stables, barns, pastures, and a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2), 50-room Colonial Revival mansion with a fireproof structure made of reinforced concrete.
Eastman's house presented a classical facade of decorative craftsmanship. Beneath this exterior were such modern conveniences as an electrical generator, an internal telephone system with 21 stations, a built-in vacuum cleaning system, a central clock network, an elevator, and a great pipe organ. Eastman used the house as a center of the city's rich musical life from 1905 until his death in 1932.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "George Eastman House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-14.
- "History of George Eastman House". George Eastman House website. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
- Interview with Beaumont Newhall by Joseph Trovato for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
- Chao, Mary (November 22, 2010). "Historic houses are finding new lives in Rochester". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). Gannett Company. pp. 1A, 4A. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Newhall, Beaumont (September–December 1982). "The First Decade". Image; Journal of Photography and Motion Pictures of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House (Vol. 25, No. 3-4). p. 3. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- Quigley, Kathleen (1990-03-18). "Splendor Restored At Eastman House". The New York Times (The New York Times). Retrieved 2010-10-25.
- Dougherty, Nate (2012-09-27). "George Eastman House selects new director". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Image Magazine Online
- Ed Kashi: Curse of the Black Gold
- "2006 Annual Report". George Eastman House. p. 9. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- Larry Towell: The World From My Front Porch
- "Jessica Lange At Eastman House July 25". George Eastman House. Rochester, New York: GEH. 2009-07-15. eastmanhouse.org. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Richard Greenwood (January 8, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: George Eastman House" (pdf). National Park Service. and PDF (518 KiB)
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