Pictorial Photography, Gael
Newton, 1979. Note:
has not been updated - this is basically the same as the original,
except for details such as more recent deceased dates
text • list
of photographers • exhibition
Acknowledgements are gratefully given to the former Australian
Women Photographers research project for biographical information
Hollick and May and Minna Moore, compiled from members of their
respective families. Further information on the project, which
covers the years
1860-1940, may be directed to the National Gallery of Australia
Research library which has acquired this archive. The remainder
of the entries have been compiled from families, friends and records.
The only history of Australian photography
Jack Cato's The Story Of The Camera In Australia is the major source
of information on the pictorial era.
CECIL W. BOSTOCK 1884-1939
Cecil Westmoreland Bostock was born
in England and came with his parents to New South Wales in 1888.
father, George Bostock, a bookbinder, died shortly after in 1892.
Cecil was first apprenticed as an engineer in the Waverley Tramway
Workshop but left home around 1901 after conflicts with his mother
over his desire to be an artist. Little is known of Bostock's
activities until around 1916 when he is listed as a secretary of
Society of N.S.W. and a foundation member of the Sydney Camera
Circle. As well he was a member of the Commercial Artists' Association
New South Wales, suggesting that he worked in that field.
Bostock was already establishing a professional photography studio
at this time is unclear. The'Little Studio in Phillip Street'
where 'The Circle' was formed may have belonged to Bostock. Harold
also appears to have used Bostock's Phillip St. studio in Denman
Chambers whilst Bostock was away on war service 1917-20. 'The
Circle'records show that their meetings were held in Bostock's
Bostock was discharged from the army in February 1920 in
Sydney, and shortly after married a girl he had met in London
there for six months in 1919. Bostock joined the Royal Photographic
Society while in London and generally involved himself in photography
circles as well as in arranging a one-man show of his watercolours
of war scenes at the Adelphi Gallery held in 1920.
1920 Bostock worked as a professional photographer with studios
various city locations. His studio gained a reputation
and industrial illustration - a new field in those years.
Max Dupain (q.v.) started his career in Bostock's studio working
was a contradictory and erratic personality; his graphic work
was colourful and decorative but his photographs
and unmanipulated, relative to his pictorialist colleagues.
Bostock rarely adopted the soft-focus, and painterly printing
bromoil, so characteristic of the era.
As early as 1917,
Bostock produced an album proudly titled: A Portfolio
Of Art Photographs (see cat no 1) containing ten small photographs more restrained
than most 'art photographs' of the day. His work was occasionally
or criticised for being too 'photographic'!
prior to his death
from cancer, Bostock was instrumental in forming The
Contemporary Camera Groupe (sic) which was designed to unite artists
and photographers. 'The Groupe' held a first and only exhibition
in December 1938,
for which Bostock designed the catalogue. He had previously
designed the catalogues for the Australian Salon exhibitions
in 1924 and 1926. The logo and 'Declaration' of the Sydney
were also his work. Bostock, who was a skilled craftsman
also bound various albums for the 'The Circle' (examples
of this work were on display during the exhibition).
supported many efforts to establish photography as an art yet
his own concepts appear to be not limited to pictorialism's
aesthetic. Cat nos 5, 9 show Bostock's interest in the big
and geometric pattern which were becoming the vogue with
young photographers in the late 1930's.
from his wife and child and most of his studio effects
were sold at auction so that only a scattered body of work remains.
of his work appeared in the photographic journals and he
was also largely
responsible for the illustrations to The
Book Of The Anzac Memorial N.S.W. (1934).
JACK CATO 1889-1971
Cato was born near Launceston, Tasmania and was inspired
by the career
of his cousin, John Watt Beattie, a renowned topographical
photographer, from whom Cato learnt the basic chemistry of
photography. Around 1909 Cato formally joined Beattie's studio
to set up a high-class protrait service.
had studied art under Lucien Dechaineux and portraiture under
photographers, Percy Whitelaw and John Andrew. Pictorialism
had begun to create
a taste for more elaborate portrait studies than the cliched
19th century studio shot posed beside prop furniture. Cato
was to introduce
the new style to Beattie's clients.
From 1909-1913 Cato worked
in London, first for Walter H. Barnett the leading society portraitist,
and then Claude
cat no 10) who specialised in artistic theatre pictures.
worked as a freelance theatre photographer under the patronage
of Dame Nellie
1913, Cato left London to explore the scenic and business possibilities
in South Africa. He worked as an expedition
photographer for Professor
Cory of Grahamstown University and gained a Fellowship
of the Royal Photographic Society in 1916 for his ethnographic
service in South Africa, Cato returned to Tasmania to
recuperate and then set up a studio in Hobart in 1920. Later, in
Cato moved his family to Melbourne where he again was
Dame Nellie Melba's patronage. His studio was one of
the best-known for portrait work until 1947 when Cato retired
The Story of The Camera in Australia (1955),
the only history of photography in Australia to date.
He was encouraged by
of his autobiography, I Can Take It (1947).
was not a regular exhibitor at pictorial salons nor did he write
shows. He preferred to show his work in thematic
PIERCE CAZNEAUX 1878-1953
Hon F.R.P.S. 1938.
Cazneaux was born in New Zealand. The family returned to Australia
in 1886 where
Pierce Mott, who spelt his name 'Cazneau', gained
a reputation as an 'operator' (as the camera portraitists
at Freemans in Sydney and Hammer & Co., Adelaide.
began his working life at 17 as an artistretoucher at Hammer's.
He studied art at night at the School of Design directed by H.
Gill but was not interested
work of John Kauffmann (q.v.) and early pictorialists
at the annual exhibitions of the South Australian
Photographic Society between 1898-1903. In 1904, Cazneaux moved
to Sydney to take a better position at Freeman's, first as an
artist retoucher, but later as the chief camera operator. Once
in Sydney, Cazneaux was able to begin his own photography with
his first camera - a Midge Box camera, which he used to take
pictures to and from work. He met other amateurs and was introduced
by one of these, Norman Deck, to the Photographic Society of
N.S.W. in 1907.
1909, Cazneaux was sufficiently established to mount a one-man
show at the Society's rooms.
If not the first such show, Cazneaux's exhibition
was probably the first to establish the idea
of the photographer-artist, as it was well
received by artists and Press. At this exhibition,
Cazneaux made the acquaintance of Sydney
Ure Smith, who later in 1920 appointed Cazneaux
as official photographer to The Home magazine,
just at the time when Cazneaux was attempting
to establish himself as a freelance photographer.
had resigned from Freeman's after suffering a nervous breakdown
in 1918. Studios such
as Freeman's were still very 'Victorian' in the
cliched studio portraits they turned out,
and the sweatshop conditions under which the staff
worked. For Cazneaux who was interested
in all the new ideas in photography and preferred
to work outdoors, the situation became
impossible. Yet he felt unable to leave as he had married
in 1905 and had a large family to support.
first worked independently from Bostock's studio in Denman
from 1920 he worked from his home (which
he had been able to purchase with the aid
money for 'A Kodak Happy Moment' competition)
in Roseville. The assignments for The
Home provided scope and stimulus beyond the range of
the work shown at pictorial salons. The Home
was a promoter of modernism and Leon Gellert
particular encouraged experimentation.
had first gained a reputation for the spontaneity of his outdoor
shots. Cat no 18 the 'Razzle
Dazzle' had even drawn considerable attention
at the London Salon when H. Snowden Ward
reviewed the show for The Photograms
of the Year (1911
p. 288). However from the late twenties,
Cazneaux's work shows a remarkable welding
of the romantic
atmosphere of pictorialism with the dramatic
forms, angles and lighting which were
part of the vogue for modernism in art. (see cat nos 23, 28)
industrial pictures and Flinders Ranges landscapes of the thirties
a monumental scale quite uncharacteristic
any other Australian
1938, Cazneaux also exhibited with The Contemporary Camera Groupe
by the modern trends in photography
which he felt were cold and mechanistic
involved with novelty and not the
though depressed by W.W.11, continued working until his death
in 1953. In 1952,
he was honoured with a national
evening and earlier in 1938 had
received an Honorary
Fellowship of The Royal Photographic
Society. A fuller biography is
contained in the
National Library of Australia monograph
on his work
published in 1978. Cazneaux's pictures
were extensively published in Sydney
in his lifetime as well as the
A.P. R. and H.P.J. magazines and in the
C. DECK 1882. [deceased 1980]
Cathcart Deck was born in Sydney and was first introduced to
photography in 1894 after seeing his brother
develop a family snapshot (see cat no 32a). Norman first
learnt photography from his brother, and later, a teacher during
school days (1896-1902) at Sydney Grammar School. He became
the youngest member of the Photographic Society of N.S.W. in
In 1906, Deck graduated from Sydney University as a Bachelor
of Dentistry, first practising in Cowra, New South Wales
then Queensland before returning in 1909 to establish a practice
Sydney with his brother.
1903, Deck began exhibiting and won his first gold medal in
1905 for a picture 'Where Two
Paths Meet' (late
print and negative in A.G.N.S.W.). By 1904, Deck
was an active speaker and demonstrator for the Photographic Society of
N.S.W. and later (1909) of the Ashfield District Camera
Club, which had been formed
by his friends 'Mons' Perier and Frank Hurley. Deck served as President
of both societies. In 1912, Deck held a one man show
of his work at Harrington's, probably
at the suggestion of Henri Mallard (q.v.). Deck was a popular speaker
at Society meetings as he had both a sound technical grasp
of photographic chemistry and
the aesthetics of pictorialism. Several of his formulas to do with factorial
development, and the problems of proportional reducing for
bromide printing were published
Kodak formulary, and other journals. He was an expert in bromide printing
both technically and including the aspect of 'artistic control' even
to the final
1913, after a visit to the Solomon Islands, Deck decided to
join his brother and sister in Mission work in this area.
He returned to the Islands
in 1914 and
served there throughout two world wars until 1948. Despite the difficulties
of photographing under tropical conditions, Deck continued to exhibit
salons and to photograph both in the Islands and Australia during furloughs.
In 1921, Deck was made an honorary member of the Sydney Camera Circle
on one such visit home.
retirement, Deck continued to make photographs on several overseas
trips and to reprint his earlier negatives
as his vintage prints had
or destroyed in the Tropics. Cat nos 41 and 113 have been attributed
to Deck and are probably close to the appearance of his early prints.
no 32 also
shows some of Deck's earliest prints. The prints on exhibition though
late in date are faithful in general style to the style of the pictorial
in size and print surface. A fuller biography was published by Max
Wilson in Australian Photography magazine August 1978.
little biographical information is available. Dickinson began
exhibiting in the late 1920's and was trained
by Monte Luke.
He became a partner
in Dickinson-Monteith studio. Cat no 42 was considered daringly
modern when first exhibited.
DUPAIN 1911. [deceased 1992]
Spencer Dupain was born in Sydney where his
father operated a modern gymnasium. He became interested
in photography as a schoolboy at Sydney Grammar School, which
led to an apprenticeship
in Cecil Bostock's
(q.v.) studio. Dupain worked with Bostock from 1930-34 before
setting up a studio of his own in Bond St.
joined the Photographic
Society of N.S.W. in 1928
and began exhibiting work in a pictorial style, though
even in bromoil, his pictures show an unusual vigour and interest
in geometric form
(see cat no 43) compared
to other pictorialists.
1932-33, Dupain had begun to respond to the modern European
photography and came increasingly to feel that the pictorialists
had failed to come to terms with contemporary life. Dupain
began to independently photograph industrial forms such as
and Pyrmont docks in a way totally alien to the pictorialists'
beautification of subject by atmosphere. An account of Dupain's
work was published in Light Vision magazine No.5 May
1978 by the author.
B. EATON 1881-1967
Bertram Eaton was born in England and came with his family
to Melbourne in 1889.
with his father, ran a picture framing business with small
gallery for many years in Toorak. Eaton appears to have
taken up photography
around 1919, when he began exhibiting in local exhibitions,
and from 1923, overseas salons such as the annual exhibitions
of the Royal Photographic
Society and the London Salon.
1921, Eaton joined the Victorian Pictorial Workers Society
- a counterpart to the
Sydney Camera Circle similarly
to the progress of pictorialism. His progress in salons
was rapid and by 1925, he mounted a one man show of his
in Melbourne. He was an enthusiastic supporter of local
societies, being a foundation member of the Melbourne
Camera Club, as
well as a member of the Victorian Salon and the Australian
of 1924 and 1926.
reviewing Eaton's one-man show in the A.P.R. June 1925, Harold
Cazneaux expressed some reservations
of Eaton's subject matter and style, which mostly featured
landscapes in simplified shapes and broad tonal arrangements.
Eaton was possibly inspired by the landscape work of
Frederick Evans of England but failed to retain the
or fine balance of line and shape of his model. Eaton
was undeterred by such criticisms and continued to
be a prolific
the late 1940's.
later years, the soft-focus of his early work was replaced
by an interest in a graphic effect
through a piece of sandblasted glass on to high contrast
work shows some parallels to the paintings of Elioth
Gruner in his interest in overlapping planes.
large collection of late prints were donated by Eaton to the
Library of Australia in the
of his work can be found in Bank Notes, the Commonwealth
staff magazine in the 1930's, as well as the annuals
of The Home magazine.
W. EUTROPE 1891. [deceased
born in Melbourne and became interested in
photography around 1914 when the very impressionistic 'fuzzygraph'
pictorialism was at its height. He would probably
have seen John Kauffmann
and J. Temple Stephen's work at local exhibitions.
Eutrope began exhibiting around 1917 and in
year was invited
a member of The Victorian Pictorial Workers
Society, a counterpart to the Sydney Camera Circle. He
took up bromoil
seeing J. Temple Stephens' landscape and Ti-tree
1920, Eutrope moved to Sydney in connection with his
business firm to set up a gramophone and record branch. During
the Depression the business failed and pending an improved
economy, Eutrope took a position with Harrington's as manager
of their Brisbane branch. He returned to Sydney in 1967 after
his wife's death and lives in Sydney with his daughter. [deceased
specialty was very fine bromoil work, usually landscape studies
which show a feel for decorative and graphic effects.
Sydney Ure Smith was so impressed with one of Eutrope's landscapes;
'An Australian Valley' that he was encouraged to include
it as one of the first photographs in Art and Australia in
1926 as part of a feature on 'the new outlook' on Australian
Arthur William Christopher Ford was born in Sydney
and was apprenticed as a clerk in the Government Printing
Office in 1902. At his own request, Ford transferred to process
engraving work (which included instruction in photography). He
the Department until retirement in 1953, serving for many years
as overseer of the Photographic Branch.
From around 1912 Ford began
exhibiting in local and overseas salons and was invited to join
the Sydney Camera Circle in 1917 soon after
its foundation. He would also have belonged to the Photographic
Society of N.S.W.
Ford's specialty was marine and skiing subjects,
usually taken on a Graflex camera. No large body of his work
has survived though
pictures were frequently reproduced in Bank Notes, the Commonwealth
Bank staff magazine in the 1930's. Ford did a series of pictures
of the Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction but no original
prints or reproductions have been located.
HOLLICK 1883 - 1977
was born near Melbourne and studied art at the National Gallery
Art School in Melbourne from 1902-06, where she formed life-long
with painter Dora Wilson and through her photographer Pegg Clarke.
Hollick first practised photography around 1908-9 as a freelancer
touring the country taking mostly portraits. She worked from
the family home in Moonee Ponds and was accompanied by Dorothy
who printed the orders.
1918, Hollick. and Izard took over Minna Moore's old studio in
Collins Street, Melbourne, and were
sufficiently successful to take further space for the studio
and reception area in an adjoining building. In the early 1930's,
Hollick closed the city studio and once again operated from Moonee
mostly doing the child studies
which she was well known. Hollick and Izard travelled overseas
first time in 1950 and retired to live in Heidelberg on their
Ruth Hollick was best known for her studies of children,
for which she had a real interest and liked to use natural light
and to retain an air of spontaneity.
From 1920, Hollick also
exhibited her work in pictorial salons and was a regular exhibitor
in the London Salon and Amateur
Photographer annual shows. In 1928, a one woman show of
her work was held
Collins St. studio. Hollick's work covering child and society
protraits, fashion and architectural illustrations was
frequently used in
The Home between 1920-28, as a Melbourne counterpart to
HAROLD JONES d. 1970
Jones was a member of the Photographic Society of N.S.W. and
Sydney Camera Circle from
1928. Jones worked for Howard
Smith & Co.,
shipping agents in Sydney.
A. JOYNER active 1890's-1940's?
Allan Joyner was a wellknown exhibitor and member of the South
Society at the turn of the century. He worked in genre studies
in a rather old-fashioned style deriving from Victorian painting.
was a solicitor by profession.
Kauffmann was born in Angaston, South Australia in 1864, the
son of a storekeeper,
of an importing firm in
Adelaide from the 1870's, 'A. Kauffmann & Son'. John's
elder brother, Louis, was taken into the business, whilst he
as a clerk in an architect's
1887, Kauffmann travelled to England to gain further experience
but abandoned this work to become one of the many converts
to pictorial photography
which was being articulated by British photographers, such
as George Davison, around 1890. Kauffmann studied photographic
and the new reproduction
processes in England and Europe then returned to Adelaide in
1897. Though he does not appear to have exhibited at the Photographic
Salons of the avant garde pictorialists of the Linked Ring, Kauffmann
was referred to
as a 'medallist' on
his return. Kauffmann's
work received quick recognition by the Press on his return
and he gained medals at The South Australian Photographic Society
joined in late
1897) and the main societies in New South Wales and Victoria.
1902, his standing was such that he was invited to judge his
own society's first international salons in 1902-03, at
style was seen in the gum bichromates of David Blount (see
art circles tastes in the 1890's were swinging to impressionist
theories and Kauffmann's landscapes were admired for their
delicate mist effects.
Cazneaux (q.v.) who was directly inspired to take up photography
as an art by seeing these
exhibitions, always referred to Kauffmann as the pioneer
pictorialist of Australia.
1909, Kauffmann moved to Melbourne and is listed in directories
at 163 Collins St. as a photographer
by 1914. Though never
an office-bearer, Kauffman
given a one-man show by the Amateur Photographic Association
of Victoria in 1910 and
1914, the latter of which was also shown in Sydney.
1919, a monograph on his work The Art of John Kauffmann was
published with 20 half-tone
illustrations, probably the first monograph on an Australian
activities as a professional were largely illustrations
magazines such as The Home or
books, one on Melbourne in 1931 for Sydney Ure Smith,
one on the Sunraysia District c.1920. He does not appear to
his income came from print sales for which he charged
up to 10 guineas.
was an aloof personality and did not
or reviewing, as did his friend, Harold Cazneaux.
His style probably evolved from
atmospheric naturalism through the more exaggerated
soft-focus of the 1905-15 years and thereafter retained a luminous
vogue for Australian sunshine around 1920 make
his work outdated and Kauffmann expressed some bitterness
to Cazneaux as to the lack
pioneering work. In the thirties, Kauffmann turned
to close-up floral studies (due probably
to poor eyesight) which are often striking and
bold in composition and modern despite the soft diffusion of
urban studies, Kauffmann also showed a receptivity to treating
everyday or industrial subjects pictorially, quite unlike other
pictorialists (see cat no 56). Some views showed telegraph
suggesting an influence of Eustace Calland, J. B. Wellington,
and Alvin Langdon Coburn's pioneer use of industrial forms
in the early 1900's.
the only large collection of Kauffmann's work is in a private
collection and not available
the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South
Australia now have extensive holdings of Kauffmann's work]
Lawrence was born in England and came to Australia in 1922
taking up photography under Harold Cazneaux
shortly after his arrival. By 1925, Lawrence had been invited
to join the Sydney Camera Circle. He returned to England with
wife and daughter in 1926-27 and met with photographic personalities
such as F. J. Mortimer, editor of The Amateur Photographer and F. C. Tilney, a photographic critic, who reviewed 'Circle'
pictures at the annual salons in London from 1926-32.
returned to Australia in 1928 and settled in Bowral, N.S.W.
Away from fellow photographers, Lawrence's own work declined.
to England in 1947, after the breakdown of his marriage.
Despite the shortness of his time in photography, Lawrence
in salons and cat no 64 was used as a frontispiece for
Cameragraphs 1926, the catalogue of the Australian Salon. Lawrence's
donated a collection of his photographs to the National
Library of Australia in 1977.
LIONEL LINDSAY 1874-1961
Lindsay was born in Victoria, one of the talented Lindsay
family of artists
and writers. Lindsay, whose chief medium was black
and white graphic arts, was also a prominent art critic and
His avid interest
in the techniques of printing processes probably first
him to photography around 1900.
had a studio from 1905-08 and was most active around 1911 when
for his oil
pigment prints at the annual exhibition of the Photographic
Society of N.S.W., of which he had been a member since
1908. In the same
year, Lindsay wrote his only article on photography,
'Picture Making by the Camera, Is Photography Art?' for
The Lone Hand magazine of
July, 1911, in which he expressed a view that as
photography could be beautiful but not true in the way painting
it was not an art. After 1911, Lindsay ceased to exhibit
but continued his
with gum bichromate and bromoil into work with the
lumiere colour process around 1911-15, and later movie film
in the 1920's.
1927, during a visit to England, Lindsay met James Craig Annan,
who had introduced photogravure to England
of Annan's gravures (now in the National Library, along
collection of photographic books and remaining photographs.
Unfortunately examples of his colour bromoils have
not been located.)
Montague Luke was born in Victoria,
the son of a well known press photographer, E.
T. Luke. Monte was first employed as a messenger for Baker & Rouse,
photographic suppliers but, from 1907, worked as
an actor until appointed
as official still and movie cameraman for the theatrical
Around 1919, Luke went into partnership with the
Falk studio in the Strand before setting up his own studio
in the same building
W. Appleby's old studio. Luke's studio specialized
in weddings and social portraits but also gained
for smart advertising
joined the Sydney Camera Circle in 1921 and meetings were henceforth
held in his studio until
at least the
He was a prolific
exhibitor, known for dramatic portrait studies
but delicate landscapes. A selection of 37 of
Luke's dramatic landscapes
in the 1930's entitled Under Sunny Skies (n.d.)
which only one
copy is known in the National Library of Australia,
which also holds a
collection of Luke's photographs. However, only
a small number of his many exhibition prints
Monte Luke studio moved
to Castlereagh Street in the 1940's and still
Marie Joseph Mallard was the Australian born son
of French parents, who had settled in Balmain
1880's. Mallard retained a French accent
to his early education
at home. In
1900, Mallard offered himself to Harrington's
photographic suppliers as
a lure to the French Consular trade which
was going to a rival firm, Baker & Rouse, with Frenchman "Mons" Perier
on staff. Mallard remained with Harrington's
(later Kodak Pty. Ltd.) until his retirement in 1952.
Mallard, who had been attracted to photography by the displays
window, soon learnt the process and was
exhibiting in local salons by 1904.
1913, Mallard married and took up a position in the Melbourne
a selection of John Kauffmanres 1914
one-man show at the firm's showrooms. Mallard
returned to Sydney in 1916 and by 1917
had joined the Sydney Camera Circle and
Society of N.S.W.
with many technical lecture demonstrations.
was a genial personality, who used his expertise and central
and professionals in pursuing the art
or craft of photography. The most notable
a movie camera to
his friend, the young Frank Hurley,
who was going
to the Antarctic in place of Mallard,
had family commitments.
own role in Australian cinema is
yet to be investigated.
is best known for the film of the building of the
Sydney Harbour Bridge, which he did on his own
in film and
documentary work, Mallard was faithful
to the canons of the pictorial
style and was
time as editing
the Bridge film. Exhibition prints
from any Bridge negatives would most likely
like cat no 75 showing
the Bridge tensioning
National Library of Australia holds a good collection of Mallard's
of his reminiscences.
in Photo Digest magazine August
1960 and his Bridge negatives,
Centre for Photography,
reprinted and published by Sun
A. G. MILSON (FLORENCE
Milson was the
wife of Alfred G.
Milson of Milson's Pt., Sydney,
by Harold Cazneaux from whom
she received lessons in 1919. Presumably,
Cazneaux who nominated Mrs.
Milson in 1920 as the first (and only)
By 1921, the
book records that Mrs. Milson
to have resigned for personal
reasons', though she continued
locally and in overseas
salons until around 1924.
Milson made a visit to England around 1923 and was encouraged
by F. J. Mortimer, the editor of The Amateur Photographer,
with whose help she organised an exhibition of overseas pictorialists'
work for showing in Sydney and Melbourne in 1924.
felt that Mrs. Milson's exhibition was the best foreign
work seen in Australia (though few of the photographers listed
in the catalogue have had lasting reputations) and described
own work as 'brilliant'. Unfortunately, only a few of Mrs.
Milson's photographs are known to have survived and these
were printed by Cazneaux and may not reflect Mrs. Milson's
Milson evidently gave up photography shortly after sending
the pictorial exhibition to Australia.
H. MOFFITT 1888-1948
Heath Moffitt was born in Sydney and trained as a solicitor,
later becoming a partner in the
firm McDonell & Moffitt. He took up photography around
1920 and joined the Sydney Camera Circle in 1927.
the 1930's Moffitt
developed a distinctive, very graphic style of bromoiling
probably using a series of paper negatives to reduce the
image to a
pattern of shape and line. In August, 1947 Moffitt wrote
his only article on photography, 'The Status of Pictorial
Photography', for the A.P.R., in which he defended the
to use such processes as bromoil to achieve an artistic
The article was much admired by Cazneaux as a defence
against post war criticisms of the 'fakery' of pictorialists'
AND MINNA MOORE
and Minna Moore were New Zealand born sisters who established
photographic studio in Wellington in 1908. May, who had
attended Elam Art
School in Auckland instigated the studio, and Minna,
joined her and later ran the studio after May had moved
to Sydney around 1913. May Moore had been encouraged to move
of the Moore studio portraits of theatre personalities
in New Zealand, and continued this specialty from a new studio
the Bulletin building in Sydney.
Moore followed her sister
to Sydney about 1913 but after a brief period of partnership
when their work was signed 'May and Minna Moore', moved
and set up a studio in the Auditorium building, Collins
St. In 1916 Minna Moore married William
Tainish, a poet and businessman and gave up her studio in 1918
to have a family.
also married not long after her arrival in Sydney but continued
to operate the studio until the late 1920's with the assistance of
her husband, a Sydney dentist Harry Wilkes.
Jack Cato, who also specialised in theatrical and social portraits,
and Minna Moore did not exhibit in
the pictorial salons. Their work
in magazines and was distinctive for their simple but dramatic treatment
of portraiture. In particular the Moore studio was recognizable by
the use of a device known
as 'Rembrandt' lighting, where a pencil of light fell on one side of
the face with the rest in shadow as in cat no 84. Such
devices had been introduced
the pictorialists and especially the Photo Secessionists at the turn
of the century, and effectively ended the era of the
static 19th century studio
J. MORRIS 1884-1959
James Morris was born in Sydney and studied modelling and engraving
at Sydney Technical College and may have later
taught there around
1905. Morris possibly started photography as early as 1901, but more
likely around 1920-21 when he visited Germany, England
and America studying engraving
processes. At the time Morris visited the Kodak works in New York
began exhibiting around 1925 as a member of the Sydney Camera
and the Photographic
Society of N.S.W. Around this time, after his return, Morris established
a commercial studio in Sydney specializing in advertising and industrial
1927, Morris became a partner in Ramsay Photo Works, responsible
for the copying and enlarging work. In connection
with this business,
to Europe and America in 1936 carrying his Leica camera (an early
35 mm developed in 1925). Morris later exhibited his overseas pictures
the form of the
largest bromoil transfers ever seen (some 3' x 2' in size one remains
in Morris' widow's collection) which he had produced using a mangle.
served as secretary of the Sydney Camera Circle for many years
but resigned in 1936
conflict over the election of R. V. Simpson q.v. One of his last
the Contemporary Camera Group in 1938 after which, at the onset
of war, Morris went to work for the Department of the Army.
Morris worked on anti-aircraft guns and developed several
projects, including an automatic enlarger and a rangefinding
As a result of
an accident during this work
Morris suffered a long illness before his death.
was a close friend of Cecil Bostock with whom he shared interest
boating, and was responsible
for salvaging some works from the auction of studio effects
after Bostock's death. Morris' work was unusual in that his
of places have
related images which
perhaps show an influence of the photo-journalistic 'essay'which
had developed from the 1920's with the advent of 35 mm cameras.
T. OWEN 1898-1979
Thomas Owen was born in New Zealand in 1898 and moved with
photography in 1908 when his father, Charles, a keen
amateur, tired of the hobby. After service in the British Navy
the Polytechnic Art
School 1919-21 studying graphic art illustration and
later to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
1924 Owen began exhibiting in the Amateur Photographer competitions
London and Royal Salons. He became
a member of The
Amateur Postal Camera
experimented with processes and did some professional
1927, Owen left England due to the Depression and settled
Melbourne working for
Shier for a year before joining a firm - Colour Photographs
- later Queen City Printers
- for whom he developed a method of applying the
Jos-Pe colour process
to lithography. The firm became P. C. Grosser Lithographic
Printers, for whom Owen worked until
retirement in 1969.
an amateur Owen found the light very different in Australia
and, in particular, lacked
used to. His
made here followed the style of J. B. Eaton (q.v.)
did not retain the finish of his English subjects.
was an active
Circle and Melbourne Camera Club and a judge
for The Victorian Salon after Dr. Julian
Smith's death in 1948. Owen worked in carbon,
carbro and lantern slides. The National Gallery of Victoria
a good collection
VAUDRY ROBINSON 1885-1961
Vaudry Robinson was
the leading pictorialist in
Tasmania according to Jack Cato's Story
of the Camera in Australia. Robinson was a close friend
of Cato's before the latter's departure for London
in 1909. They possibly met in Percy Whitelaw's studio
where both worked for a time.
was first apprenticed to Stephen Spurling II's studio in Launceston
worked for ten years for Whitelaw. Cato's autobiography
I Can Take It refers to their early experiments with
new pictorial processes and traditional toning methods
to achieve coloured images. Robinson was also a painter
and may have studied under Lucien Dechaineux as Cato
had done. He retained his early interest in colour
and was one of the few expert colour bromoilists.
one man show of Robinson's monochrome and colour bromoils was
shown at Kodak Pty. Ltd's showrooms in Sydney
August 1928, which was reviewed by Cazneaux in
the A.P.R. August issue. Some foreign views were included
indicating Robinson had travelled. It was probably
around 1928 that Robinson attempted to set up a
studio in Melbourne, against the advice of Cato who felt
he was more bohemian than businesslike. Robinson had wanted
to go into partnership with Cato. The Melbourne
studio failed and Robinson returned to set up a studio in
was not a regular exhibitor and unfortunately few examples
of his photographs have survived.
Australia Beautiful, The Home Annual for
1928 illustrated several of his bromoils on canvas
were no doubt from his one man show.
HEY SHARP 1885-1965
Hey Sharp was born in Sydney, the son of Canon William Sharp,
and graduated from Sydney University
with a Bachelor's degree in science and engineering. Sharp
lectured in electrical engineering at Adelaide School of Mines
in 1908 and Adelaide University 1909 and various other positions
until 1919 when he went to Sydney University to lecture in
electrical engineering. Sharp was acting professor from 1927-41
in 1949. He was also interested in economics and wrote a
number of books on the subject.
is listed as Hon. Secretary of the Photographic Society of N.S.W.
in 1915 and occasional
lecturer on the bromoil
process. He was nominated for membership
of the Sydney Camera Circle in the twenties but was not accepted, though
his work seems to have been of an equivalent standard.
Sharp rarely exhibited in the salons (though some historical
subjects appeared in The Home magazine) and ceased pictorial
work around 1930.
V. SIMPSON d.1967
Simpson lived in Sydney and was nominated for membership of the Sydney
Camera Circle in 1935. His acceptance caused Cecil
Bostock and George Morris to
resign. Simpson's work appears to have been competent and the problem
may have been one
of personalities. Simpson lived in Orange for many years before his
death. Cat no 102 was bequeathed to the Sydney Camera Circle
collection in Simpson's will.
SMITH d. 1945
Smith was born in England and had
work published in The Photograms of the Year in 1910 and articles
in The Amateur Photographer in 1908 before coming to New South Wales around 1917.
joined the Photographic Society of N.S.W. and was a regular writer
In the A.P.R.
in the early 1930's Smith wrote a series of articles entitled
'Letters From An Uncle', one of which in March 1930 'Photography
City' is a classic insight into the pictorialists' compositional
ideals with sunshine balanced against shadow, lights against
darks and the 'massing' which was an almost sacred goal. For
such masses to come through detail had to be suppressed and
thus misty mornings were a good time to photograph.
worked in a delicate manner and never lost his love of English
He was reputed to have lit fires in fields
the effect desired. Smith never lost his Lancashire accent
and was well remembered for his practical help in which he stressed
the need to have a 'dominatin 'ighlight' in the picture.
was invited to join the Sydney Camera Circle but felt it
weakened the membership of the Photographic Society.
F.R.P.S. 1930 Hon F.R.P.S. 1944
born in London and came to Melbourne at an early age.
Smith graduated in Medicine from Melbourne University and was
Smith took up photography around 1925 and by 1927 was
exhibiting work in the annual London Salon. He must have been
at the time as several portraits of English photographic
personalities date from this time (see cat no 105).
was a founder of the Victorian Salon and member of the Melbourne
Camera Club. He worked almost exclusively
studio portrait suited his busy schedule which would
have made outdoor work difficult. The portraits were
studies often inspired by Dickens writings, or illustrations
themes. Titles such as 'The Old Firebrand' (see cat
no 106) added this emotional meaning to the work.
in the colour of his prints (usually very large),
developed his own method of over exposure, forced
development in a hot bath using ferrycyanide to reduce the highlights
but which left depth in the dark tones. It was a
invention, he developed various techniques and devices
for medical use as well.
his death a portfolio of reproductions on
loose sheets was published; Fifty Masterpieces
of Photography by Dr.
Julian Smith (1949), as a memorial. Smith
had been a prolific exhibitor and his work was
probably the most well
of any pictorialist. The National Gallery of Victoria
and the National Library of Australia have collections
of Julian Smith's prints.
Sydney Stening was born in Sydney and worked
as a jeweller for Fairfax
and Roberts' firm until retirement. Stening
was one of the founders of the Photographic Society
1894 and by
1898 was winning medals in various exhibitions
for his landscapes and
well as serving as an officer of the Photographic Society for
many years, Stening
active in the Ashfield
District Camera Club with friends Frank Hurley
and Norman Deck. Stening
was among the first to recognise Harold Cazneaux's
work and instigated his one-man show in 1909.
became a founder member
of the Sydney Camera Circle in late 1916
and served as President
of the Photographic Society in 1917, which
may have caused him to be less active in 'The Circle'.
appears to have ceased to exhibit around 1920 and is not listed
as a member of 'The
Circle' in 1921,
continued his interest in photography and
adopted the new Leica camera when it was developed
He was a
perfectionist in technique and preferred
the fine detail of tonal gradation
platinum printing papers (see cat no 107),
popular at the turn
of the century, to the bromide prints most
commonly used by Australian pictorialists.
of pictorialism after about 1910 and his
later work was similar to that of Norman Deck. (As
after his death and printed from them,
some confusion has arisen in the
attribution of unsigned prints, see cat
no's 41, 113, 115.)
Stening prints in the exhibition show a range
particularly valuable as an illustration
of the changes between the 1890's and 1920's within
as a whole. The
exhibition mounts have been made with
to show the taste
in mounting which up to 1900-1910, occupied
as much consideration as the making of
the prints and are
on Stening's original
STUART TOMPKINS 1900 - (?)
Stuart Tompkins was born in Victoria and after winning
a scholarship to study Photo Lithography in 1915 learnt
Naval service Tompkins joined Spencer
Shier's studio in Melbourne in 1919.
1923 Tompkins had established his own
by buying out
Studio in Auburn. Tompkins became
involved with various amateur and
was a founder
of the Victorian
Salon of Photography in 1929 and
the Melbourne Camera Circle in
1933, the Professional Photographers Assocation
of Australia in 1944 as well as
many years of
the Professional Photographers
Association of Victoria (later
the Institute of Victorian Photographers)
had joined in
1924. He was
a member of the Melbourne
Camera Club and editor of Professional
Photography in Australia from
1957. Tompkins started the observance
of Mother's Day in Australia, thus
116 is an appropriate
first work was published in Table Talk Annual in 1923 and
Adam and Eve magazine.
In 1928 he
of an exhibition group called
'6 Amateurs 6 Professionals' (with
Dr Smith, J. B. Eaton and
W. Howieson, R. Hollick,
S. Shier, E. Adamson, A. Dickinson,
Wilkinson was a well known
in Adelaide from about 1910
until the early 1930's. He was a partner
firm of Lodge and Wilkinson
an active member of the Adelaide
no 116 is
unusual in that
despite the typically Australian
character of the scene,
very few pictorialists
used such subjects particularly
taken indoors as Wilkinson's
picture has been done.