How do we look back on a time that has gone by? On a life that is over? How do we appraise and commemorate those responsible for making photography what it is today? A Life Reviewed: George Eastman through the Viewfinder addresses the legacy of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak and one of photography's most significant entrepreneurs. A visionary who sought to expand the scope of photography from the wealthy to the average person, he recognized photography's power in the context of many scientific advances in industry and society. A Life Reviewed serves as visual biography as well as a romantic gaze into past time. By photographing places and subjects important in Eastman's life through the viewfinders of old Kodak cameras, I have created a poetic aesthetic that is neither of the present or the past. Eastman's story is one of creativity, ambition, and most of all determination. I have studied Eastman's life and turned these details into images that capture contemporary decay as well as the artistic retelling of a life. This series depicts many subjects, from the house in which Eastman experienced a peaceful, though short, childhood to the home he built in an attempt to recapture his own past, including relics from his own adventures, specifically trophy animals from big game safaris in Africa that, like photographs, serve as visual souvenirs. This project explores the merging of the present and the historical past by telling a story about photography that is relevant to the medium itself.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Eastman, George, 1854-1932--Pictorial works; Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Technique; Kodak camera
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Sheffeld, Clarence Jr
Powell, Emma, "A Life reviewed: George Eastman through the viewfinder" (2010). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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