Richard Balzer’s collection on Bridgeman Images

Bridgeman Images recently announced that they are distributing the Richard Balzer Collection of optical devices. The webpage reads: “We are proud to introduce the utterly mesmerising Richard Balzer Collection, a warped world of animated 19th century phenakistoscopes, thaumatropes and zoetropes, available as gifs and video files exclusively from Bridgeman Footage. Fine art, cultural and historical media for reproduction. Rights managed, managed right.”

Balzer’s assistants have done a beautiful job digitizing and animating his phenakistoscope discs in particular, although it appears there will be more gifs coming in the near future. Many are also available on Balzer’s own website at

Founded in 1972, Bridgeman Images works with museums, galleries, private collections and artists to provide “a central resource of fine art and archive footage for reproduction to creative professionals.” Collections can be searched here:


Several of the phenakistoscope discs in the graphic arts collection have been animated, including this one: