George Eastman House
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.

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 house 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. 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. A new facility opened to the public in January 1989. 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. 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. George Eastman House arranged groundbreaking exhibitions such as New Topographics. George Eastman House is headed by a board of trustees, with Susan S. Robfogel being the chair. The board appoints the director of George Eastman House, currently Anthony Bannon.

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.

Photography collection
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 early French photography
  • 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 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.

The Eastman House
George Eastman (1854”“1932) built his home at 900 East Avenue between 1902 and 1905. He created a unique urban estate complete with 10.5 acres (42,000 m 2) of working farm land, formal gardens, greenhouses, stables, barns, pastures, and a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m 2), 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, which made the home itself an instrument, a center of the city's rich musical life from 1905 until Eastman's death in 1932. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

Directors of George Eastman House Name Tenure 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 ”“ present

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