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University of Rochester and George Eastman House Announce Collaborative Alliance

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.

“By sharing resources, expertise, and technology, these world-class institutions will create opportunities for groundbreaking research and exciting new public programs,” said Joel Seligman, president of the University and member of the Eastman House’s Board of Trustees.

This alliance is designed to produce research and education across disciplinary boundaries, spanning from art to medicine. Proposed activities will serve students at both institutions as well as the public at large. They include new courses exploring preservation as well as the art and science of photography and motion pictures; research programs for students and faculty; conferences and summer institutes; plus programs both in Rochester and online.

“A number of museums of the stature of George Eastman House have partnerships with universities, but research by the American Association of Museums turns up no programs of the breadth and depth of that being created in Rochester,” said Dewey Blanton, director of strategic communications for the American Association of Museums.

The alliance is centered on the study of the image in all of its domains. It will promote research and education in the arts and imaging sciences at both the university and the museum. Among the subjects studied will be the use of new technologies in motion pictures and of scientific methods for preserving and interpreting images. The Eastman House, the world’s oldest museum of photography, holds and preserves more than 4 million artifacts. The University of Rochester has a long history of world-class work in optics and visual science, and the interdisciplinary visual studies graduate program is the first of its kind in the country.

“At George Eastman House, we are preserving our cultural and visual heritage, and now working in collaboration with the scientists and educators at the University of Rochester, we will do that more aggressively and in new and innovative ways,” said Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House.

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