The early photographic motion studies made by 19th-century oddball Eadweard Muybridge are so compelling that they've become something of a college dorm room cliché. It's difficult to find an art student without one of Muybridge's film strip-style series on the wall, whether it's the nude lady kicking a hat, the man throwing a shot-put ball au naturel, or the famous galloping horse (which proved that all four equine feet come off the ground at the same time).
Born just plain Edward, the photographer has long been a hero to iconoclasts. His wide-ranging interests and unusual ways contributed to his cachet: He became famous for inventing a contraption, the "zoopraxiscope," that allowed him to run his motion studies together in such a way that they appeared to move. Unsurprisingly, many consider him to be the father of motion pictures. But despite Muybridge's continuing popularity, his panoramic images aren't that well known. At "Eadweard Muybridge: San Francisco in Panorama," fans (and camera obscura enthusiasts) ought to get a kick out of a room-size picture of the city circa 1877. The opportunity to "walk through" S.F. nearly 30 years before the 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed many of the old wooden buildings is a rare one. (Unfortunately, the image does not show any naked people.)
The Muybridge exhibit is presented in tandem with "Alice Burr: A California Pictorialist Rediscovered" through Oct. 8 at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is free-$3; call 338-0966 or visit www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
There are lots of reasons dogs are called man's best friend -- beyond those big wet kisses first thing every morning -- but my canine comrade still isn't welcome at most of the businesses I frequent. However, thanks to Maria Goodavage, author of The California Dog Lover's Companion, I can gallivant around town and bring my four-legged pal. Goodavage and her yellow lab, Jake, scoured the state to find off-leash parks, doggy-friendly restaurants, and even posh hotels that earned Jake's four-paw stamp of approval. Pooches are invited to hear the two reveal the new edition's secrets tonight at 7 at Get Lost Travel Books, 1825 Market (at Guerrero), S.F. Admission is free; call 437-0529 or visit www.getlostbooks.com.
-- Jane Tunks
Keep It Real
Imitations -- like an American Idol contestant's note-for-note rendition of a classic Aretha Franklin song -- are usually mere shells of their originals. But at the multimedia exhibit "The Real World," the fake often outshines the real thing. Take Libby Black's dead-on replicas of Louis Vuitton luggage and Prada shoes constructed entirely from colored paper and Justin Walsh's exercise in extreme fandom in which he's fashioned wax replicas of his favorite LPs. The show's reception begins tonight at 6 (and the exhibition continues through July 16) at the Kala Art Institute, 1060 Heinz (at San Pablo), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 549-2977 or visit www.kala.org.
-- Jane Tunks
In 1968, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., schoolteacher Jane Elliott vowed to combat prejudice. She devised the "Blue Eyes Brown Eyes" exercise for her grade-school students, then watched as children rushed to repress one another based on what they were told about those with different eye colors. The exercise illuminates racist behaviors, and it's so popular that Elliott now conducts it for organizations all over the world. Blue Eyed, a documentary about Elliott that's part of the "Focus: Women" series, screens with director Bertram Verhaag in attendance at 7:30 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut, 530 Bush (at Grant), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 263-8760 or visit www.goethe.de/sanfrancisco.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser