Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 450,000 photographs; 28,000 motion picture films; the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology; one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema; and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and makes critical contributions in the fields of film preservation and photographic conservation.
Current Press Releases
The George Eastman Museum offers a glimpse into the cinematic elements of Portrait of Jennie (1948) on June 4
Rochester, N.Y., May 26, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced it will host a virtual discussion on the film Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, 1948) on Thursday, June 4 at 1 p.m. with members of its Moving Image Department. The museum’s 6th Nitrate Picture Show was originally scheduled to kick off with a screening of Portrait of Jennie on June 4, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum made the decision to postpone the festival to June 3–6, 2021.
Artist Alejandro Cartagena to host virtual Artist Talks in English and Spanish with the George Eastman Museum
Rochester, N.Y., May 14, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has recently announced that the formerly postponed artist’s talks with Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, b. 1977), originally scheduled for March 27 and March 28, have been rescheduled as virtual conversations.
Rochester, N.Y., May 12, 2020—Following the success of its first two virtual lectures, the George Eastman Museum has announced a third lecture on Friday, May 15 at 1 p.m. (EST). The free Focus 45 talk will center on George Eastman’s historic gardens, and will be led by Kathy Connor, Curator of the George Eastman Legacy Collection at the George Eastman Museum.
Rochester, N.Y., April 8, 2020—The George Eastman Museum is postponing the 6th Nitrate Picture Show, originally scheduled for June 4–7, 2020, until June 3–6, 2021. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has decided not to present the film festival in this calendar year. More than 80 percent of current festival passholders would need to travel to Rochester from across the country or overseas, making their attendance inadvisable and nearly impossible in the current environment.
Rochester, N.Y., April 1, 2020—The George Eastman Museum may be temporarily closed, but the museum is still offering its audiences around the world an opportunity to explore collections and educational offerings. The museum officially launched Eastman Museum at Home, a repository for activities, online resources, tutorials, and tours to keep people engaged in learning about photography, film, and the legacy of George Eastman.
Rochester, N.Y., March 13, 2020—The George Eastman Museum is committed to the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors, and to taking all necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In light of the declaration of a national emergency, and after consultation with other cultural leaders in the Rochester region, the George Eastman Museum has temporarily closed to the public as of 5 p.m. today, March 13, 2020, until further notice.
Rochester, N.Y., February 28, 2020—One hundred years ago, George Eastman was entering what would be his final full decade—and his most productive as well. The George Eastman Museum has recently opened One Hundred Years Ago: George Eastman in 1920, a display exploring aspects of Eastman's life through artifacts. Objects on view include an album of photographs from the construction of the Eastman Theatre, newspaper articles, the first issues of Kodak Magazine, and souvenirs from his trip to Japan.
Rochester, N.Y., February 26, 2020—The Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum has announced a call for entries to its 2nd Annual Stephen King’s Dollar Babies short film program. Submissions of original short films are being accepted now through April 30. The selection committee will choose up to 14 short films to screen at the Dryden in October as part of the Dollar Babies programs. Filmmakers will be notified by May 31 if their entry was chosen.
Rochester, N.Y., February 19, 2020—The George Eastman Museum recently announced that Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, 1948) will screen on Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the 6th Nitrate Picture Show. Traditionally, the Nitrate Picture Show has kept all of the film titles a secret until the first day of the festival.
George Eastman’s historic mansion will reopen with the 26th Annual Dutch Connection display on February 14
Rochester, N.Y., January 13, 2020—The historic mansion at the George Eastman Museum will reopen to the public on Friday, February 14, with its Dutch Connection floral show. The annual display is a welcome treat in the midst of winter, with thousands of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, amaryllis, freesias, and spring annuals in various vibrant shades filling areas of George Eastman’s historic mansion. Tropical orchids courtesy of the Genesee Region Orchid Society will also be on display throughout the mansion.
Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura will open at the George Eastman Museum on January 31
Rochester, N.Y., January 9, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced a new photography exhibition, Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura, which will open on January 31, 2020, in the museum’s Project Gallery. Co-organized by the George Eastman Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art, the exhibition will present the latest work, including several new pieces, by artist Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, b. 1977). The exhibition and its accompanying audio tour will be presented in both English and Spanish.
George Eastman Museum breaks ground on Thomas Tischer Visitor Center and ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion
Rochester, N.Y., January 6, 2020—The George Eastman Museum broke ground today on the Thomas Tischer Visitor Center, including construction of the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion, which will serve as the museum’s new main entrance, located next to the Dryden Theatre. Through the new entrance, visitors will be served by a new admissions desk, gathering places, a renovated education and meeting hall, a more mission-focused shop, and a relocated café that includes seating in the historic Palm House. The project is expected to be completed by July 2020.
George Eastman Museum receives a $600,000 grant for the restoration of its historic garden structures
Rochester, N.Y., December 23, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant award of $600,000 for the restoration of the museum’s historic garden structures from the New York State Office for Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation through Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993, in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. The restored structures on George Eastman’s estate, a National Historic Landmark, will include the pergola in the Schuyler C.
George Eastman Museum completes environmental improvements to preserve its world-class photography and technology collections
Rochester, N.Y., December 10, 2019—The George Eastman Museum recently completed a major upgrade to the crucial environmental conditions of its collection storage areas. The Environmental Improvements Implementation Project, at a total cost of $1,246,000, included the replacement and upgrade of 30-year-old systems that controlled the temperature and humidity for the photography vault, technology vault, and photography study center.
Rochester, N.Y., December 10, 2019—The George Eastman Museum will present the 6th Nitrate Picture Show from June 4 to 7, 2020 at the Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY. The Nitrate Picture Show, the world’s festival of film conservation, will celebrate its 6th year with a new, extended lineup of nitrate prints on screen, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours of the museum and its collection areas.
Rochester, N.Y., December 3, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has announced its 2020 schedule of photography workshops. The museum is offering 19 hands-on workshops next year, including three brand-new offerings, including Handmade 35mm Black-and-White Film in April; Salt, Albumen, Collodion Printing Out Processes in July; and Lippmann Color Plates in August (Sold out; waitlist only). Registration is now open for all 2020 workshops at eastman.org/workshops.
Rochester, N.Y., November 18, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has announced it will break ground on January 6, 2020, for a new visitor center, which includes construction of the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion. The visitor center project, which involves relocating the museum’s main entrance to the west side of the building, is the most significant structural change to the museum since the gallery and collections building was constructed in 1989. The project is expected to be complete by July 2020.
Rochester, N.Y., November 15, 2019—The George Eastman Museum, in partnership with the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music, and Hamilton College will present Filmi Worlds: A Festival of Indian Cinema at the Dryden Theatre on November 21. The festival continues on November 23 and 24. This three-day film festival and symposium will combine film screenings, scholarly talks, and public conversations about South Asian film.
Rochester, N.Y., November 7, 2019—Cinephiles know a film comes to life only when it is presented on the big screen. With digital theaters becoming the norm, the need for a skilled film projectionist is becoming so rare that the craft itself is in danger. The Art of Film Projection—A Beginner’s Guide is the George Eastman Museum’s venture to capture the essence of film projection from both sides of the machine and to offer a playbook to reproduce the magic of cinema for an audience.
Rochester, N.Y., November 1, 2019—The George Eastman Museum will kick off the holiday season on November 8, when the annual Sweet Creations—the exquisite display of dozens of cleverly designed and deliciously decorated gingerbread houses—opens to the public. The display will be on view through December 15.
Rochester, N.Y., October 23, 2019—The George Eastman Museum announced today that it will honor the late actor Robert Forster on Saturday, November 2 with special screenings of Medium Cool (1969) at 1 p.m. and Jackie Brown (1997) at 4 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre.
A longtime supporter of the George Eastman Museum, Forster was first elected to its board of trustees in 2001 and served as a trustee until 2010, when he was elected as a trustee emeritus.
Rochester, N.Y., October 15, 2019—The George Eastman Museum will open a new rotation in its History of Photography Gallery on October 26, which celebrates contributions by a selection of photographers who immigrated or moved to the United States. Many became naturalized citizens as they recorded their perspectives on an unfamiliar country, and most have become key figures in the history of photography.
Rochester, N.Y., October 1, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has received a Save America’s Treasures grant award of $498,815 from the National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This grant funding will allow the Eastman Museum to complete the restoration of the Colonnade of George Eastman’s mansion, a National Historic Landmark.
Rochester, N.Y., September 25, 2019—After taking a brief intermission that began in July to accommodate construction at the museum, the Dryden Theatre will raise its curtain again on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of The Killing Floor (Bill Duke, 1985). The theater will resume its daytime screenings on October 15, with a recent work by multimedia artist Lena Herzog, Last Whispers—Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree.
Rochester, N.Y., September 20, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant award of $340,615 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Division of Preservation and Access, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program for its Protecting Nitrate Film Heritage project. Grant funding will support the creation of a reliable, safe, and sustainable environment for the museum’s renowned and extremely fragile collection of 35mm nitrate-based film materials housed at the Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center in Chili, New York.
Rochester, N.Y., September 6, 2019—The George Eastman Museum will be open to the public for FREE on Saturday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the spirit of Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day, the Eastman Museum is opening its doors to all visitors for the day to encourage the Rochester community to experience the exhibitions The Art of Warner Brothers Cartoons and Tanya Marcuse: Woven, and the History of Photography Gallery, as well as hands-on activities for all ages in the Discovery Room.
Rochester, N.Y., August 28, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has announced the fall lineup for its Wish You Were Here lecture series. For nearly 20 years, this popular photography lecture series has brought artists and photojournalists to Rochester to share their stories and photographs from around the world. The 2019 series will kick off on Thursday, September 12 at 6 p.m., with photographer Larry McNeil.
The George Eastman Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries present the first major retrospective of Bea Nettles
Rochester, N.Y., August 27, 2019—The George Eastman Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis, will premiere the first large-scale retrospective of artist Bea Nettles’s fifty-year career this fall. The exhibition, Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory, was co-organized by the two institutions and will open at The Sheldon on October 4, and remain on view through December 28. The George Eastman Museum will present the show in Rochester January 31–June 14, 2020.
Rochester, N.Y., August 22, 2019—The Eastman Museum Council will present its Movie on the Lawn event featuring Ratatouille (2007) on Friday, September 6 at 7 p.m. on the north lawn of the George Eastman Museum. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Saturday, September 7.
Rochester, N.Y., August 15, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant award of $350,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program, to support its project Preserving and Improving Access to the Boyer Collection.
Rochester, N.Y., July 23, 2019—The George Eastman Museum will present Anderson & Low: Voyages and Discoveries in its main galleries beginning October 18. The exhibition is the US premiere of UK-based artist duo Anderson & Low’s most recent series, Voyages. For this exhibition, the artists also selected works from the Eastman Museum collection that they perceived to resonate with their work.
The George Eastman Museum appoints Dr. Peter Bagrov as Curator in Charge of its Moving Image Department
Rochester, N.Y., August 13, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has appointed Peter Bagrov, PhD, as Curator in Charge of its Moving Image Department. He will assume the post on August 16. Bagrov was previously senior curator of Gosfilmofond, the national film archive of Russia, and has nearly twenty years of experience as a film curator and scholar.
Rochester, N.Y., August 6, 2019—This week, the George Eastman Museum will begin a major restoration of the Colonnade of George Eastman’s mansion, a National Historic Landmark.
The Colonnade is the passageway—lined with windows onto the Schuyler C. Townson Terrace Garden—between the Palm House and the dining room in George Eastman’s historic mansion. This structure provides the only interior route between the museum’s main entrance and galleries and the historic mansion and Terrace Garden.
The George Eastman Museum presents Wildflowers: A Tribute to Tom Petty for the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival
Rochester, N.Y., August 1, 2019—As part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, the George Eastman Museum will host a Hidden Garden Concert on Friday, September 13 at 6 p.m., featuring musicians from several Rochester bands, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tom Petty's album Wildflowers.
The George Eastman Museum completes environment improvement project to preserve its Photography and Technology Collections
Rochester, N.Y., July 30, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has recently completed a major upgrade to the environmental conditions of its collections areas, with grant support of $300,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The more than $800,000 Environmental Improvements Implementation project included the replacement of a 30-year-old system that controlled the temperature and humidity for the photography vault, technology vault, and photography study center.
Rochester, N.Y., July 18, 2019—This Saturday, July 20, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the George Eastman Museum will be celebrating “Moon Day” throughout the day with a special boot camp style photo workshop, a Focus 45 talk, gallery tours, and film screenings.
Rochester, N.Y., June 24, 2019—This summer, the George Eastman Museum will offer visitors a look at the complex process of animation with The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons. The exhibition will be open to the public on June 28 and remain on view through October 6. An exhibition preview will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, followed by a screening of Warner Bros. animated shorts at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre.
Rochester, N.Y., June 12, 2019— ESL Federal Credit Union has acquired the naming rights to the new main entrance building—the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion—at the George Eastman Museum’s new visitor center. The new entrance will be more convenient, visible, welcoming, and accessible for guests. The visitor center will also include a new café and museum shop. Construction is expected to begin in January 2020 and be completed in July 2020.
Rochester, N.Y., June 7, 2019—The George Eastman Museum announces Tanya Marcuse: Woven is now on view through January 5, 2020. The artist, Tanya Marcuse, will be in Rochester tonight for a conversation with Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photography, at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre. Following the conversation, the exhibition gallery will be open to view, and Marcuse will be signing copies of her book, Fruitless / Fallen / Woven (Radius, 2019).
Rochester, N.Y., June 4, 2019—The George Eastman Museum is hosting a community forum on Monday, June 10, at 6 p.m., to share information about its historic mansion and garden restoration program. The museum invites the public to attend and learn more about the status of the project and its next phase as well as ask questions and provide input for the projects moving forward.