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Having more indoor plants is one of the popular new year’s resolutions, so we reached out to Dan Bellavia for some advice on how to get started! Dan is the landscape manager at the Eastman Museum, which means he ensures that the historic gardens from George Eastman’s estate always look their best. Here’s his top advice on getting started with indoor plants.

Anyone can grow plants!

There is no such thing as a green thumb. It doesn’t matter what color thumb you have. Just follow some simple guidelines and you will soon be enjoying live plants in your home. Keep in mind that plants are very resilient. …


This post was written by Deborah Stoiber, Collection Manager in the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Museum.

Last year, while prepping to teach my students in The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, I began to check a print titled Bin Badal Baarsat (Zeenat Begum, Pakistan 1975) for content before assigning it to my class. While looking online to confirm the title, I found a bootleg copy that appeared to have been uploaded from an old VHS tape. As I continued to watch and compare to our 35mm print, I slowly realized that what I was seeing online was made from the print I had in my hands! The scratches, splices and cuts were identical. …


This post was written by Caroline Yeager, Associate Curator in the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Museum.

In 2019, the George Eastman Museum received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections program to support major upgrades to the conservation system currently in use at the museum’s Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center (LBMCC) in Chili, New York. This facility conserves the museum’s renowned and extremely fragile collections of 35mm nitrate-based film materials and original photographic nitrate negatives.

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What is nitrate film? It is the first flexible film stock that made motion pictures possible. …


Jamie Allen, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Associate Curator in the Department of Photography at the George Eastman Museum, shares some books and activities you can do at home to celebrate voting and the election.

When the United States was founded in 1776 very few people had the right to vote. Basically, the only citizens who could vote were wealthy, white men who owned property.

In the mid-1800s, women, known as suffragists, began to demand the right to vote. In 1920, they were finally granted this right with the ratification of the 19th Amendment (though many women continued to be prevented from exercising that right, which we’ll get to in a little bit). …


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Unidentified photographer, aerial view of estate looking from East Avenue toward University Avenue, ca. 1926, gelatin silver print, George Eastman Museum, gift of the University of Rochester.

The short answer is, according to Eastman himself, his urban farm was ten acres. However, with many changes to the property over the years — during and after Eastman’s lifetime — the answer is a little more complicated. Here, Legacy Curator Kathy Connor provides the background:

Early in 1902, a 48-year-old George Eastman began looking for property to build his dream house. He had looked at property on Lake Avenue, which would have been closer to the Kodak corporate office on State Street and his manufacturing plant at Kodak Park; however, these properties were not large enough for the urban farm Eastman hoped to create. …


Over the past three years, supporters of the George Eastman Museum have generously committed more than $4.5 million to our Transforming Our Visitors’ Experience campaign. Its first phase has culminated in the opening of the Thomas Tischer Visitor Center and presentation of our new Colorama.

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The October 8 ribbon cutting for the new Thomas Tischer Visitor Center. Pictured, left to right: James Smith, Deputy Mayor, City of Rochester, Adam Bello, Monroe County Executive, Faheem Masood, President and CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union, Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum, Thomas Tischer, Lead Donor, Mara Manus, Executive Director, NYSCA, Kevin Gavagan, Chair, Board of Trustees, George Eastman Museum, Harold Samloff, Trustee, Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation

The visitor center is the most important advance in our guests’ experience since George Eastman’s historic mansion was restored thirty years ago. The ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion provides a convenient and easily accessible entrance at the center of the museum complex. The Wolk Concourse is a broad thoroughfare that leads to the multipurpose hall, the new café and store, George Eastman’s historic mansion and the Schuyler C. …


Our Summer 2020 Digital Engagement interns, Eleanore Barrera and Lucy Wagner share their experience working as part of our digital engagement team. Want to be an intern at the museum? Learn more at eastman.org/internships.

Eleanore Barrera, University of Rochester

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Years before attending the University of Rochester, I received a once-in-a-lifetime introduction to film studies by attending weekly screenings at the Dryden Theatre. When I was in primary and middle school, I used to cut out the Dryden film calendars from the monthly bulletin and secure them on the fridge with my favorite magnets. My father would then circle a few, and tell me, “This is a Dryden film. You have to see this at the Dryden. You can’t watch a film like this on the TV.” …


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In late March, just as Governor Cuomo was ordering that nonessential businesses suspend having employees on-site, the George Eastman Museum received approval of our request that the preservation and security of our collections and our National Historic Landmark was an “essential business,” which allowed us to continue to have limited staff on premises, provided we complied with appropriate health and safety procedures. Most of our employees shifted to working remotely, where they have been remarkably productive. Our staff quickly adapted to video meetings, which have kept colleagues well connected.

From March 14 through July 23, the Eastman Museum was closed to visitors. During this period, we greatly increased our efforts to reach our audiences with engaging new online programs and content. The response has exceeded our expectations and significantly expanded our reach. We have made a strategic decision that we will continue to prioritize creating new digital content and making our programs remotely available. We are pleased that the museum recently received a $135,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (under the CARES Act) to support our initiatives in this area. …


The invention of photography was announced to the public in 1839, but the oldest book in the George Eastman Museum’s rare books collection in the Richard and Ronay Menschel Library dates to nearly two hundred years earlier. Here, Head of Library and Archives Ken Fox tells us more about this special object:

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Athanasius Kircher’s Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae

Our extremely rare first edition of Athanasius Kircher’s Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae is a groundbreaking study of optics: the science of light and vision and the foundation to the understanding of photography. It was published in Rome in 1645 (we also have a beautiful copy of Kircher’s revised and expanded 1671 Dutch edition) and stands as one of the most important early treatises on optics. The book’s Latin title directly translates as “The Great Art of Light and Shadow,” but, as Kircher himself points out in the book’s preface, it can also be read as “The Magnetic Art of Light and Shadow” — a playful allusion to Kircher’s earlier study of magnetism, which he believed to be a primary natural force. …


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While George Eastman is more commonly known for popularizing photography and founding Kodak, one of his personal proud achievements was crafting the perfect lemon meringue pie. It was his favorite dessert recipe, and after dozens of trials he created his own version that he widely shared with family and friends.

In honor of his birthday (July 12, 1984), editor and publications manager Molly Tarbell decided to make his historic recipe.

George Eastman Museum

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