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.
Rochester, N.Y., Decemeber 23, 2011—George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film announces it will honor Richard Gere with the prestigious George Eastman Award on Feb. 16. The award recognizes Gere’s distinguished contribution to the art of film as well as his global humanitarian leadership. In accepting the honor, Gere joins the company of such film legends as Charles Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Kim Novak, Martin Scorsese, and Meryl Streep. The George Eastman Award was established in 1955 as the first retrospective film award to honor artistic work of enduring value.
Rochester, N.Y., June 15, 2011—George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film announces the appointment of Dr. Paolo Cherchi Usai to the position of senior curator of motion pictures, a title he held from 1994 to 2004. He is currently Curator Emeritus of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and director of the Haghefilm Foundation in the Netherlands. The appointment of Cherchi Usai, a leading figure in film preservation, marks his return to Eastman House, where he began working in 1989 with what is the third largest film collection in the United States.
Rochester, N.Y., June 9, 2011—Dozens of local non-profit organizations will benefit from a single fundraiser this fall — the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K presented by MVP Health Care, aka The Philanthropy Challenge, hitting Rochester streets Saturday, Oct. 1. This type of event has become a fundraising frontrunner in major cities, with this local race modeled after the London Marathon, which has raised millions of dollars for charity.
Rochester, N.Y., June 3, 2011—Experience the iconic paintings and illustrations of artist Norman Rockwell alongside the staged photographs on which he based his work, with the exhibition Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera, on view June 25 through Sept. 18, 2011.
Rochester, N.Y., June 1, 2011—The Dryden Theatre pays tribute to Charlie Chaplin throughout the month of June, with a series of 15 films, including Modern Times, The Kid, and City Lights. While it is known Chaplin’s movies were made wholly for himself, they did speak to the whole world — and continue to do so decades later.
Rochester, N.Y., June 1, 2011—The Garden Vibes summer concert series at George Eastman House is celebrating its 18th year. On four Thursdays in July and August, George Eastman House offers a unique outdoor venue for experiencing live music. Picnic on the Eastman House lawn, relax with friends, and enjoy family-fun activities, while at the same time basking in George Eastman’s historic Townson Terrace garden and surrounding grounds. Concerts are 6 to 8 p.m.
Rochester, N.Y., April 20, 2011—George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is organizing its second benefit auction of photographic objects and prints, books, and camera technology, to take place in New York City at Metropolitan Pavilion at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3. Denise Bethel, director of the Photographs Department at Sotheby’s New York, will again volunteer her services as auctioneer, as she did for last year’s inaugural benefit auction – which raised more than a half-million dollars in less than two hours for Eastman House.
360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival to showcase 104 films from 21 countries April 27 – May 2
Rochester, N.Y., March 30, 2011—The 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival takes to Rochester screens April 27-May 2, with 104 films from 21 countries, plus celebratory parties, panel discussions, artist conversations, and award ceremonies. Those being honored this year include Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning cinematographer Buddy Squires and celebrated Rochester-based screenwriter Brock Yates. The festival is celebrating its 10th year in 2011.
Rochester, N.Y., March 29, 2011—Filmmaker Jonas Mekas — whom many call the Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema — will visit the George Eastman House at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9, for a screening of his film Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania and to receive the title of George Eastman Honorary Scholar for artistic achievement. Past recipients of this honor include directors John Frankenheimer, James Ivory, and John Landis; actors/photographers Dennis Hopper and Jeff Bridges; and most recently musician/photographer Graham Nash in January.
Rochester, N.Y., January 31, 2011—George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War with photography and motion picture exhibitions opening on Feb. 12, Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The museum's unparalleled collection of 19th-century photography is showcased as iconic photographs hang alongside rare and never-before-seen images, in addition to contemporary images of Civil War sites and re-enactments and a look at how motion pictures have fictitiously depicted the war. The exhibitions are on view through June 12, 2011.
Rochester, N.Y., January 31, 2011—George Eastman House presents virtual springtime, with the 17th annual exhibition The Dutch Connection: George Eastman's Conservatory in Winter Bloom, on view Friday, Feb. 11 through Saturday, Feb. 26.This colorful, interpretive exhibition will feature thousands of flowering bulbs, re-creating Eastman's 1911 display of flowers from Holland - ordered from the same Dutch company Eastman used.
Rochester, N.Y., Decemeber 15, 2010—Witness history as photographer and musician Graham Nash receives the title of George Eastman Honorary Scholar, and discusses his career and the Taking Aim exhibition, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22 in the Dryden Theatre.
Rochester, N.Y., December 10, 2010—The University of Rochester and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the world’s preeminent museum of imaging, have entered into an alliance to further public engagement, research and education in the arts and sciences, with a focus on the museum’s photography and motion-picture collections. This will be the most extensive museum and university alliance of this type in existence.
Rochester, N.Y., November 17, 2010—The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House will host Rochester-based filmmaker and two-time Oscar® winner Robin Lehman at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10. Screening that evening will be three of Lehman’s thought-provoking films, featuring the pure, wordless cinema of his celebrated short films, his signature cinematography, and his moving and humor-filled documentary Forever Young. Lehman will introduce the films and talk with the audience following the screenings.