The George Eastman Museum, also referred to as George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, 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. World-renowned for its collections in photography and cinema, the museum is also a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation, educating archivists and conservators from around the world. Home to the 500-seat Dryden Theatre, the museum is located on the estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company. The estate was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
The Rochester, NY estate of George Eastman (1854–1932) was bequeathed upon his death to the University of Rochester. University presidents (first Benjamin Rush Rhees, then Alan Valentine) occupied Eastman’s mansion as a residence for ten years. In 1948, the university transferred the property to the museum, and the Georgian Revival Style mansion was adapted to serve the museum’s operations. George Eastman House was chartered as a museum in 1947. 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. In October 2015, the museum changed its name from George Eastman House to the George Eastman Museum. The museum’s original collections included the Medicus collection of Civil War photographs by Alexander Gardner, Eastman Kodak Company’s historical collection, and the massive Gabriel Cromer collection of nineteenth-century French photography. The Eastman Museum has received donations of entire archives, corporate and individual collections, and the estates of leading photographers, as well as thousands of motion pictures and massive holdings of cinematic ephemera.
The museum’s holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating from the invention of photography to the present day; 28,000 motion picture films; three million other cinematic objects, including letters, scripts, musical scores, lobby cards, posters, film stills, and celebrity portraits; more than 16,000 objects of photographic and cinematographic technology; an internationally renowned research collection of books, periodicals, and other materials on photography and moving images; and George Eastman’s home furnishings and decorative arts, personal and business correspondence, private library, photographs, negatives, films, and related personal items. EZ Rochester Junk Removal
Moving Image Collection
The George Eastman Museum Motion Picture Collection is one of the central moving image archives in the United States. It was established in 1949 by the first curator of film, James Card (1915–2000), who helped build the George Eastman Museum as a leading force in the field with over 25,000 titles and a collection of stills, posters, and papers with over 3 million artifacts. The George Eastman Museum’s collection includes the complete moving-image works of William Kentridge.
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