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Anita Mozley

4 February, 2010

Anita Mozley, former curator of photography at the Stanford University Museum of Art (aka the Cantor Arts Center) passed away on Saturday, January 23rd. She was 81. Anita was a great advocate for photography on the west coast, and had her hand in many valuable initiatives in California. Most famously, she organized the first serious exhibition on Edweard Muybridge, called Muybridge: The Stanford Years, in 1972 (the photo above, ‘Leland Jr. on His Pony Gypsy,’ was used as the cover of her book). The catalogue for the exhibition remains the gold standard not just for Muybridge research but for photo scholarship generally. I cited Anita’s book more than any other in Time Stands Still, and through Anita’s great generosity was given access to her unpublished research notes, which enriched the project enormously. One of the most remarkable things about her 1972 exhibition, not often noted, is that she discovered the ‘Brandenburg Album,’ the private album of Muybridge’s widow Flora, which provides incomparable insight into the Muybridge family’s private life at the critical time when Muybridge was beginning to make stop action photographs, and his wife was beginning the love affair that resulted in Muybridge being tried for murder! Without Anita’s work this incredible album might never have been known. Anita was one of the people who helped elevate photo history to the level of other art history scholarship in the 1970s. Always passionate, unfailingly encouraging and supportive, Anita will be sorely missed.

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