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George Eastman House
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
George Eastman House in Rochester, New York
Location: 900 East Avenue, Rochester, New York, USA
Built/Founded: 1905
Architect: J. Foster Warner
Architectural style(s): Georgian
Governing body: George Eastman House Museum of Photography
Added to NRHP: November 13, 1966[1]
Designated NHL: November 13, 1966[2]
NRHP Reference#: 66000529

The George Eastman House is the world's oldest photography museum[3] 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.

Contents

History

The estate of George Eastman, including his house, was bequeathed upon his death to the University of Rochester. The house was home to University of Rochester President Rush Rhees until 1935. After World War II, the university transferred the property to a board of trustees.[4]

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 in 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, and now houses more than 400,000 photographs and negatives; 23,000 films and several million film stills; 43,000 publications; and more than 25,000 pieces of technology.

Interior

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, 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 is headed by a board of trustees, with Susan S. Robfogel being the chair[5]. The board appoints the director of George Eastman House, currently Anthony Bannon.

Directors of George Eastman House[6]
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

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 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, 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.[2][7]

References

External links

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Official site

Other

Guides

Virtual tour

Coordinates: 43°09′08″N 77°34′49″W / 43.152147°N 77.580278°W / 43.152147; -77.580278


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