Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is proud to present an exhibition of work by Harold Edgerton, on view from January 28 through March 7, 2015 in the back galleries.
Harold Eugene “Doc” Edgerton (1903 – 1990) was a photographer, engineer, inventor, and life-long educator known for his iconic images taken with the aid of the electric strobescope. Originally developed by Edgerton during his time as a doctoral student to study the motion of motors, the strobescope was able to capture motion too fast to be observed by the naked eye through the use of use of rapid, short electronic flashes. Edgerton later applied this signature technique to observe and document everyday phenomena: the wings of a hummingbird in flight, a golf swing, the splash of a drop of milk, or a bullet piercing a balloon. While rooted in scientific observation, Edgerton’s powerful visual aesthetic produced unique and groundbreaking photographs that lie at the intersection of science, technology, and art.
Harold Eugene Edgerton was born in Fremont, Nebraska, in 1903 and was raised in the small town of Aurora, Nebraska. He developed an interest in photography at an early age through his uncle, Ralph Edgerton, a studio photographer.
In 1925 he received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He continued his studies at MIT where he earned his master’s (S.M.,1927) and doctorate (Sc.D., 1931) degrees. A dedicated and beloved educator, he remained at MIT as a faculty member until his death in 1990.
Edgerton was the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to both photography and engineering including a bronze medal by the Royal Photographic Society in 1934, the Howard N. Potts Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1941, the David Richardson Medal by the Optical Society of America in 1968, the Albert A. Michelson Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1969, and the National Medal of Science in 1973. In 1940 he won an Oscar for his high speed short film Quicker’n a Wink. His photographs are exhibited widely and are included in the collections of prestigious institutions around the world.