This September is the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Eastman Kodak Company (referred to simply as Kodak). We take a look at a special collection of footage shot by the artist Philip de László, who was gifted one of the first motion cameras by George Eastman, the founder of Kodak.
Tina Meller dancing a Spanish dance at Fitzjohn’s Avenue / Bridgeman Footage
Brimming with the glamour, grandeur and fun of British high society in the 20s and 30s, Bridgeman is delighted to represent the previously unseen home-movies of the Hungarian painter, Philip de László.
In 1926, when Philip de László painted the portrait of Eastman Kodak Company founder, George Eastman (Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, U.S.A.), he was given one of the earliest motion picture cameras, the Ciné-Kodak model B, first produced in 1925. From then until de László’s death in 1937, the artist, his sons and his studio assistant Mr. Harwood filmed a unique record of de László’s life and work on 16mm film, which was initially sent to America for processing.
Philip and Lucy de László with Elinor Glyn / Bridgeman Footage
It was first rescued and put onto tape by one of the artist’s grandsons, Martin de László, who spent many hours with his uncle Paul and father John recording the commentaries. The original film was irretrievably damaged by ‘Vinegar Syndrome’ – a form of chemical decay that occurs in cellulose acetate film when it is kept in hot, humid conditions. This material releases acetic acid, the key ingredient in vinegar which is responsible for its acidic smell.
Philip de László painting The Bronze Horses of St. Mark’s, Venice / Bridgeman Footage