One of the world’s oldest museums, the George Eastman Museum is dedicated to photography and film. Opened to the public in Rochester, NY in 1949, the Museum is world-renowned for its photograph and motion picture archives and is one of the leaders in photography and film preservation. Located on the estate of the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, George Eastman, the Museum is home to the 500-seat Dryden Theater and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
The George Eastman House was founded on the Rochester estate of George Eastman in 1947 with the aim of collecting, preserving, and presenting the history of film and photography. The Museum was established in a Georgian Revival style mansion on the estate in 1948 and opened its doors to the public in 1949 where it displayed its core collections in what were once the former public rooms of Eastman's house. The George Eastman House was renamed the George Eastman Museum in 2015.
Collections & Exhibits
The George Eastman Museum features a collection of more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating back to the time photography was invented to the present day. The collection also includes over 16,000 objects of photographic and cinematographic technology, 28,000 motion picture films, over three million other cinematic objects, including musical scores, scripts, letters, film stills, lobby cards, and celebrity portraits. There is also a renowned research collection of books, publications, periodicals, and other materials on photography and moving images, and a collection of home furnishings and decorative arts that were once owned by George Eastman.
The photography collection features works from more than 14,000 photographers and includes objects of great rarity, landmark processes, and monuments of art history that highlight the evolution and development of the medium as a means of scientific and historical documentation, as a technology, and as one of the most influential means of personal expression of the modern day and age.
Works in the collection cover nearly every process and printing medium employed from vintage to modern era works. Notable holdings in the collection include nineteenth-century photographs of the American West, early and vintage prints by Ansel Adams, a selection of glass negatives dating back to the 1890s from French photojournalist Charles Chusseau-Flaviens, and one of the most extensive collections of daguerreotypes in the world. The Museum also houses a significant repository of works by Edward Steichen and Stieglitz, and notable contemporary photographers include Ed Kashi, Larry Towell, Robert Frank, Manuel Riviera-Ortiz, Steve McCurry, James Nachtwey, and Sebastiao Salgado.
The George Eastman Motion Picture Collection was established by the first curator of film, James Card, in 1949 and features over 3 million artifacts, and over 25,000 titles and a collection of stills, posters, and paper.
The George Eastman Legacy Collection was opened to the public in 1999 and includes George Eastman’s house and the George Eastman Archive and Study Center. The collection features over half a million items, including Eastman’s documents and possessions from Kodak’s early history, as well as a mounted elephant head, an organ pipe, and fragments of Eastman’s coffin.
Other significant collections in the Museum include the Medicus collection of photographs from the Civil War by Alexander Gardener, the Gabriel Cromer collection from France, and Eastman Kodak Company's historical collection.
Programs and institutions connected to the Museum include the Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photographic Conservation, the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center in nearby Chili, New York.
The George Eastman Museum offers an array of educational programs, workshops, classes, and symposiums, including internships, photography workshops, graduate and school programs, photographic preservation and collections management courses, and a variety of applications at the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation.
The George Eastman Museum is located at 900 East Avenue in Rochester in New York and is open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Dryden Theater presents film screenings on a daily basis from Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
The city of Rochester has much to see and do from outdoor and recreational activities to arts and culture. Nearby attractions to the Seneca Park Zoo include the Harvester 56 Community Theater, the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, the CMAC Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, the Eastman School of Music, Empire Magic, the Geva Theatre Center, and the Hochstein School School of Music and Dance. Outdoor and recreational activities range from hiking, mountain biking, paddling, kayaking, and golf.
900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, Phone: 585-327-4800