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 receives $65,350 grant award from the National Film Preservation Foundation
Rochester, N.Y., December 3, 2020—The George Eastman Museum recently received a grant award for $65,350 from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve three severely endangered nitrate feature films from the museum’s collection. The prints of His Last Race (US 1923), Payroll Pirates (US 1920), and When Betty Bets (US 1917) are likely the only versions of the films that still exist. Due to severe nitrate decomposition in all three films, this is the last chance to save these unique prints.
George Eastman Museum receives Best in Show accolades for David Levinthal: War, Myth, Desire publication
Rochester, N.Y., November 16, 2020—The George Eastman Museum was recently awarded the Frances Smyth-Ravenel Prize in the 29th annual Museum Publications Design Competition, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This “Best in Show” honor was given to the museum for its David Levinthal: War, Myth, Desire (2019) publication.
Rochester, N.Y., October 16, 2020—The George Eastman Museum will host a virtual artist’s talk with Kota Ezawa in conversation with Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum, on Thursday, October 22 at 6 p.m. The talk is free, and registration via Zoom is required as space is limited.
Rochester, N.Y., October 8, 2020—The George Eastman Museum officially cut the ribbon to open its new Thomas Tischer Visitor Center this morning at a 10 a.m. press conference. The Thomas Tischer Visitor Center includes the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion, which will serve as the museum’s new main entrance, located next to the Dryden Theatre.
Rochester, N.Y., October 2, 2020—The George Eastman Museum is installing a reproduction of a Colorama image adjacent to its new Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. The public opening of the Tischer Visitor Center and the Colorama will be on Saturday, October 10.
Rochester, N.Y., September 21, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant award of $249, 517 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through its Museums for America grant program. This is the largest grant program of IMLS. The Eastman Museum’s initiative to conserve 1,004 South Asian films in its collection was one of 109 projects that received part of the more than $19 million in grants awarded.
Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation to give $350,000 to the George Eastman Museum’s visitor center project
Rochester, N.Y., September 14, 2020—The Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation has pledged $350,000 to support the George Eastman Museum’s transformative Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. The Wolk Foundation’s gift will be recognized with the dedication of the largest space in the visitor center as the Wolk Concourse.
Rochester, N.Y., September 9, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has been awarded $135,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) CARES Act grant program to support essential operations of the museum that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funds will allow the museum to sustain, expand, and institutionalize the museum’s digital programs. The Eastman Museum was one of 317 cultural organizations selected to receive a grant award through this highly competitive program.
Rochester, N.Y., August 25, 2020—The George Eastman Museum premiered Gathering Clouds: Photographs from the Nineteenth Century and Today on July 26 in the museum’s main galleries. Gathering Clouds illustrates the key role that clouds played in the development and reception of photography from around 1850 to 1920. Bringing cloud photography into the present by way of Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalents (1923–34), the contemporary works in the exhibition forge new artistic paths while responding in various ways to the history of cloud photography.
Rochester, N.Y., August 6, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has received two grant awards, of $35,000 each, from Art Bridges. The grant awards are funded through the Bridge Ahead Initiative—a nearly $6 million commitment from Art Bridges to assist its partner museums that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rochester, N.Y., July 15, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced that the public reopening of the museum has been delayed one week because of construction work on the Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. The museum will now reopen to the public on Sunday, July 26, at 11 a.m. The museum will be open for museum members only on Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., before opening to the general public on Sunday, July 26.
Rochester, N.Y., July 9, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced it will reopen to the public on Sunday, July 19, at 11 a.m. The museum, which has been closed since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was unable to open when Phase IV began in the Finger Lakes due to the ongoing construction of the Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. The museum will be open for museum members only on Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., before opening to the general public on Sunday, July 19.
Rochester, N.Y., June 24, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced that it will begin its series of George Eastman Bike Tours on Saturday, July 18 at 10 a.m. The two-hour tour is led by Jesse Peers, archivist in the George Eastman Legacy Collection and certified bike educator. Peers will guide participants on the relaxed pace, 6.5-mile tour that begins and ends at the Eastman Museum.
Rochester, N.Y., June 16, 2020—The George Eastman Museum is continuing to expand its online offerings through Eastman Museum at Home. The museum is working with Yelp Rochester to offer new virtual programs from baking to crafting, the events will be held on June 18 and June 30 through Yelp Rochester online. The museum has also rescheduled its Portrait of Jennie: The Rarest Cinematic Experience of All Time webinar to June 25, and the Curator’s Gallery Talk with Bea Nettles to June 26.
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.