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Innovation in the Imaging Capital to open at George Eastman House on September 20

New exhibition to feature Rochester’s contributions to the field of imaging technology

Rochester, N.Y., September 16, 2014—For decades, Rochester was known as the imaging capital of the world. Innovation and invention by Rochester companies paved the way for the world we now live in, from medical testing to space exploration, digital capture and transmission, and more. On September 20, George Eastman House will open Innovation in the Imaging Capital, which highlights Rochester’s major contributions to the imaging story, showing technology made possible by inventions that were originated or developed locally.

The exhibition features objects from the George Eastman House collection, along with those borrowed from several local lenders, including Bausch and Lomb, Xerox, and Eastman Kodak Company. Each section of the exhibition focuses on a different area of photographic technology developed in Rochester. The consumer product section includes early digital inventions such as the first digital camera patented by the Eastman Kodak Company in 1977. Some of the medical devices and inventions on display include early and modern digital X-rays and a capsule camera provided by Given Imaging. Early aerial cameras used during World War I and II and the Lunar Orbiter I are featured in the section about aerial imaging.

“Rochester has been the center for innovation in imaging since 1888, when George Eastman brought photography to the everyday consumer, and that innovative spirit remains today,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman House. “The result of a collaborative effort among our talented staff at George Eastman House, this exhibition is a wonderful celebration of the accomplishments of the Rochesterians that transformed the world of imaging and applied inventions from this field into others.”

Innovation in the Imaging Capital is sponsored in part by Sydor Optics and the Xerox Foundation, with additional support from KBPaxton, Inc. and Nocon & Associates Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisory Practice. The exhibition was curated by Todd Gustavson, technology curator, and Kathy Connor, George Eastman legacy curator, at George Eastman House.

In addition to a panel discussion, the museum’s Focus 45 lunchtime talks during the run of the exhibition will feature local experts discussing various technology and inventions. The public is invited to the following exhibition-related programs:

Focus 45: Imaging Science: Connections to Rochester and Beyond

Saturday, September 20, 12:15 p.m., Curtis Theatre

Changes to the photographic industry introduced by digital technology are reflected in the evolution of imaging science in Rochester. Dr. John Schott of RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science will trace this evolution and the connections between Rochester and the imaging community at large. Free to members; incl. w/ museum admission, or $6 ($3 students), talk only. Bring your lunch or purchase in the Eastman House Café—call (585) 271-3361 ext. 223 to pre-order.

Focus 45: What’s Old is New Again: Applying Film Technology to Touch Screen Sensors

Saturday, November 15, 12:15 p.m., Curtis Theatre

Bill Pollock, president and CEO of Optimation Technology and Kingsbury Corporation, will discuss the technology behind touch screen sensor manufacturing, the role that Rochester companies play in this multibillion dollar market, and ways that this traditional process can be applied to other industries. Free to members; incl. w/ museum admission, or $6 ($3 students), talk only. Bring your lunch or purchase in the Eastman House Café—call (585) 271-3361 ext. 223 to pre-order.

Panel Discussion

Saturday, November 22, 1 p.m., Dryden Theatre

The change from analog to digital photographic technology has affected our relationship to imagery. To explore this topic, we welcome Robert Burley, photographer; James Estrin, New York Times Lens Blog co-editor and senior staff photographer; and Steven J. Sasson, electrical engineer and the inventor of the digital camera, in a panel discussion moderated by Lisa Hostetler, curator-in-charge, Department of Photography. Free to members; incl. w/ museum admission.

Focus 45: There Must Be Something in the Water

 Saturday, December 13, 12:15 p.m., Curtis Theater

Chris Holmquist, Eastman House object preparator and chemical photography enthusiast, will speak on the history of photographic innovation in Western New York and Rochester’s present role as a mecca for pre-digital photography techniques, as a new generation preserves and celebrates this rich history. Free to members; incl. w/ museum admission, or $6 ($3 students), talk only. Bring your lunch or purchase in the Eastman House Café—call (585) 271-3361 ext. 223 to pre-order.