Louis Lumière. Feeding the Baby (Repas de bébé). 1895

Louis Lumière Feeding the Baby (Repas de bébé) 1895

  • Not on view

Feeding the Baby is one of the films that mark the official birth of cinema as a theater-going experience, on December 28, 1895. On that date, Lumière and his brother Auguste projected a program of short films to a paying audience at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. Filmed by Louis and less than a minute long, it shows Auguste and his wife having a meal with their child. While this is presented as a documentary, the film shows a domestic scene arranged for the camera; as such, it falls somewhere between the Lumières' usual strict recordings of actual events and their staged comedies.

The Lumière brothers were already well-established photographers and manufacturers of photographic equipment when, in 1894, they witnessed a demonstration of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope in Paris. The American invention was a peepshow device, accommodating only one viewer at a time. The Lumières quickly set out to create a combination camera and projector. Their new, simplified, and portable apparatus, which they called the Cinématographe, was the leap of technical imagination needed for a cinematic culture to emerge from Edison's novelty.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 40.
35mm film (black and white, silent)
45 sec.
Object number

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.