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Australian Pictorial Photography

source: Australian Pictorial Photography, Gael Newton, 1979.   Note: the content has not been updated - this is basically the same as the original, except for details such as more recent deceased dates        

introduction text • list of photographers • exhibition catalogue 

Acknowledgements are gratefully given to the former Australian Women Photographers research project for biographical information on Ruth 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 then published, 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. His 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 the Photographic 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 of New South Wales, suggesting that he worked in that field.

Whether 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 Cazneaux 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 studio/s until 1921.

Bostock was discharged from the army in February 1920 in Sydney, and shortly after married a girl he had met in London when stationed 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.

From 1920 Bostock worked as a professional photographer with studios in various city locations. His studio gained a reputation for advertising and industrial illustration - a new field in those years. Max Dupain (q.v.) started his career in Bostock's studio working there from 1930-34.

Bostock was a contradictory and erratic personality; his graphic work was colourful and decorative but his photographs austere and unmanipulated, relative to his pictorialist colleagues. Bostock rarely adopted the soft-focus, and painterly printing processes, such as 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 praised or criticised for being too 'photographic'!

Just 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 edited and designed the catalogues for the Australian Salon exhibitions in 1924 and 1926. The logo and 'Declaration' of the Sydney Camera Circle were also his work. Bostock, who was a skilled craftsman and bookbinder, also bound various albums for the 'The Circle' (examples of this work were on display during the exhibition).

Bostock 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 prints, glossy surfaces and geometric pattern which were becoming the vogue with young photographers in the late 1930's.

Unfortunately, Bostock died in debt, estranged from his wife and child and most of his studio effects were sold at auction so that only a scattered body of work remains. Some 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
F.R.P.S. 1916.

John Cyril 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. Cato 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 Harris (see cat no 10) who specialised in artistic theatre pictures. Later Cato worked as a freelance theatre photographer under the patronage of Dame Nellie Melba.

In 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 work. After war service in South Africa, Cato returned to Tasmania to recuperate and then set up a studio in Hobart in 1920. Later, in 1927, Cato moved his family to Melbourne where he again was assisted by Dame Nellie Melba's patronage. His studio was one of the best-known for portrait work until 1947 when Cato retired to concentrate on writing The Story of The Camera in Australia (1955), the only history of photography in Australia to date. He was encouraged by the success of his autobiography, I Can Take It (1947).

Cato was not a regular exhibitor at pictorial salons nor did he write reviews on local shows. He preferred to show his work in thematic one man shows.


HAROLD PIERCE CAZNEAUX 1878-1953
Hon F.R.P.S. 1938.

Harold Cazneaux was born in New Zealand. The family returned to Australia in 1886 where his father, Pierce Mott, who spelt his name 'Cazneau', gained a reputation as an 'operator' (as the camera portraitists were known), at Freemans in Sydney and Hammer & Co., Adelaide.

Harold 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. P. Gill but was not interested in photographic art until seeing the 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.

By 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.

He 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.

Cazneaux first worked independently from Bostock's studio in Denman Chambers, Phillip St. but from 1920 he worked from his home (which he had been able to purchase with the aid of prize 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 in particular encouraged experimentation.

Cazneaux 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)

Cazneaux's industrial pictures and Flinders Ranges landscapes of the thirties have a monumental scale quite uncharacteristic of any other Australian pictorialist.

In 1938, Cazneaux also exhibited with The Contemporary Camera Groupe but became increasingly disheartened by the modern trends in photography which he felt were cold and mechanistic or involved with novelty and not the universal beauty the pictorialists sought.

Cazneaux, though depressed by W.W.11, continued working until his death in 1953. In 1952, he was honoured with a national tribute 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 Ure Smith publications in his lifetime as well as the A.P. R. and H.P.J. magazines and in the annual Photograms of the Year.


NORMAN C. DECK 1882. [deceased 1980]

Norman 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 his school days (1896-1902) at Sydney Grammar School. He became the youngest member of the Photographic Society of N.S.W. in 1896. 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 in Sydney with his brother.

From 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 in the 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 mounting.

In 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 in Australian 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.

In retirement, Deck continued to make photographs on several overseas trips and to reprint his earlier negatives as his vintage prints had been largely lost 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. Cat 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 era, but uncharacteristic in size and print surface. A fuller biography was published by Max Wilson in Australian Photography magazine August 1978.


ARTHUR DICKINSON (active late 1920's-1940's)
F.R.P.S. 1938

Very 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.


MAX DUPAIN 1911. [deceased 1992]

Maxwell 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.

Dupain 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.

By 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 wheat silos 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.


J. B. EATON 1881-1967
F.R.P.S. 1931

John Bertram Eaton was born in England and came with his family to Melbourne in 1889. Eaton, 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.

In 1921, Eaton joined the Victorian Pictorial Workers Society - a counterpart to the Sydney Camera Circle similarly dedicated to the progress of pictorialism. His progress in salons was rapid and by 1925, he mounted a one man show of his work at Harringtor~s 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 Salons of 1924 and 1926.

In reviewing Eaton's one-man show in the A.P.R. June 1925, Harold Cazneaux expressed some reservations about the repetitiveness of Eaton's subject matter and style, which mostly featured soft-focus 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 delicate luminosity or fine balance of line and shape of his model. Eaton was undeterred by such criticisms and continued to be a prolific exhibitor until the late 1940's.

In later years, the soft-focus of his early work was replaced by an interest in a graphic effect achieved by printing through a piece of sandblasted glass on to high contrast paper. Eaton's work shows some parallels to the paintings of Elioth Gruner in his interest in overlapping planes.

A large collection of late prints were donated by Eaton to the National Library of Australia in the 1960's and reproductions of his work can be found in Bank Notes, the Commonwealth Bank staff magazine in the 1930's, as well as the annuals of The Home magazine.


STANLEY W. EUTROPE 1891. [deceased 1983]

Stanley William Eutrope was born in Melbourne and became interested in photography around 1914 when the very impressionistic 'fuzzygraph' style of 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 that year was invited to become a member of The Victorian Pictorial Workers Society, a counterpart to the Sydney Camera Circle. He took up bromoil process after seeing J. Temple Stephens' landscape and Ti-tree studies.

In 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 1983]

Eutrope's 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 September 1926 as part of a feature on 'the new outlook' on Australian landscape.


ARTHUR FORD 1889-1965

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 remained with 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 his 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.


RUTH HOLLICK 1883 - 1977

Ruth Hollick was born near Melbourne and studied art at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne from 1902-06, where she formed life-long friendships 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 Izard, who printed the orders.

In 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 Ponds, mostly doing the child studies for which she was well known. Hollick and Izard travelled overseas for the first time in 1950 and retired to live in Heidelberg on their return.

Ruth Hollick was best known for her studies of children, for which she had a real interest and liked to use natural light where possible 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 at the 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 Cazneaux's assignments.


HAROLD JONES d. 1970

Harold Jones was a member of the Photographic Society of N.S.W. and of the Sydney Camera Circle from 1928. Jones worked for Howard Smith & Co., shipping agents in Sydney.


F. A. JOYNER active 1890's-1940's?

Frederick Allan Joyner was a wellknown exhibitor and member of the South Australian Photographic Society at the turn of the century. He worked in genre studies in a rather old-fashioned style deriving from Victorian painting. Joyner was a solicitor by profession.


JOHN KAUFFMANN 1864-1942

John Kauffmann was born in Angaston, South Australia in 1864, the son of a storekeeper, later proprietor, 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 was apprenticed as a clerk in an architect's office.

In 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 chemistry 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 annual salons (he joined in late 1897) and the main societies in New South Wales and Victoria.

By 1902, his standing was such that he was invited to judge his own society's first international salons in 1902-03, at which impressionist pictorial style was seen in the gum bichromates of David Blount (see introduction). Adelaide art circles tastes in the 1890's were swinging to impressionist theories and Kauffmann's landscapes were admired for their delicate mist effects. Harold 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.

In 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 was 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.

In 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 photographer.

Kauffmann's activities as a professional were largely illustrations for 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 have done any portraiture and took few pupils, his income came from print sales for which he charged up to 10 guineas.

Kauffmann was an aloof personality and did not participate in lecturing at societies 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 softness and dark tonality.

The vogue for Australian sunshine around 1920 make his work outdated and Kauffmann expressed some bitterness to Cazneaux as to the lack of recognition of his 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 detail.

In 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 poles, suggesting an influence of Eustace Calland, J. B. Wellington, and Alvin Langdon Coburn's pioneer use of industrial forms in the early 1900's.

Unfortunately, the only large collection of Kauffmann's work is in a private collection and not available for study.

[footnote: the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia now have extensive holdings of Kauffmann's work]


PETER LAWRENCE 1882-1970
A.R.P.S. 1928

Peter 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 his 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' members' pictures at the annual salons in London from 1926-32.

Lawrence returned to Australia in 1928 and settled in Bowral, N.S.W. Away from fellow photographers, Lawrence's own work declined. He returned to England in 1947, after the breakdown of his marriage. Despite the shortness of his time in photography, Lawrence was successful in salons and cat no 64 was used as a frontispiece for Cameragraphs 1926, the catalogue of the Australian Salon. Lawrence's daughter donated a collection of his photographs to the National Library of Australia in 1977.


SIR LIONEL LINDSAY 1874-1961

Lionel 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 theorist. His avid interest in the techniques of printing processes probably first attracted him to photography around 1900.

Lindsay had a studio from 1905-08 and was most active around 1911 when he won a medal 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 could, it was not an art. After 1911, Lindsay ceased to exhibit but continued his earlier experimentation with gum bichromate and bromoil into work with the lumiere colour process around 1911-15, and later movie film in the 1920's.

In 1927, during a visit to England, Lindsay met James Craig Annan, who had introduced photogravure to England and received a set of Annan's gravures (now in the National Library, along with Lindsay's collection of photographic books and remaining photographs. Unfortunately examples of his colour bromoils have not been located.)


MONTE LUKE 1885-1962
F.R.P.S. 1928

Charles 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 firm, J. C. Williamson's. Around 1919, Luke went into partnership with the Falk studio in the Strand before setting up his own studio in the same building in L. W. Appleby's old studio. Luke's studio specialized in weddings and social portraits but also gained a reputation for smart advertising work.

Luke joined the Sydney Camera Circle in 1921 and meetings were henceforth held in his studio until at least the late thirties. He was a prolific exhibitor, known for dramatic portrait studies but delicate landscapes. A selection of 37 of Luke's dramatic landscapes was published in the 1930's entitled Under Sunny Skies (n.d.) of 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 have survived.

The Monte Luke studio moved to Castlereagh Street in the 1940's and still operates.


HENRI MALLARD 1884-1967

Henri Marie Joseph Mallard was the Australian born son of French parents, who had settled in Balmain in the 1880's. Mallard retained a French accent due 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 of equipment and pictures in Harringtor's window, soon learnt the process and was exhibiting in local salons by 1904.

In 1913, Mallard married and took up a position in the Melbourne branch where he encouraged pictorial photography by showing 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 was regularly assisting the Photographic Society of N.S.W. with many technical lecture demonstrations.

Mallard was a genial personality, who used his expertise and central position in Harrington's to encourage several generations of amateurs and professionals in pursuing the art or craft of photography. The most notable instance was his demonstration of a movie camera to his friend, the young Frank Hurley, who was going to the Antarctic in place of Mallard, who had family commitments.

Mallard's own role in Australian cinema is yet to be investigated.

He is best known for the film of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which he did on his own initiative. Despite a strong interest in film and documentary work, Mallard was faithful to the canons of the pictorial style and was making delicate bromoils at the same time as editing the Bridge film. Exhibition prints from any Bridge negatives would most likely have been treated like cat no 75 showing the Bridge tensioning cables.

The National Library of Australia holds a good collection of Mallard's work, including tapes of his reminiscences. A biography was published in Photo Digest magazine August 1960 and his Bridge negatives, now in the collection of the Australian Centre for Photography, were reprinted and published by Sun Books 1978.


MRS. A. G. MILSON (FLORENCE MILSON) active 1919-24

Florence Milson was the wife of Alfred G. Milson of Milson's Pt., Sydney, and was highly regarded by Harold Cazneaux from whom she received lessons in 1919. Presumably, it was Cazneaux who nominated Mrs. Milson in 1920 as the first (and only) lady member of the Sydney Camera Circle. By 1921, the 'Circle' minute book records that Mrs. Milson was 'deemed to have resigned for personal reasons', though she continued exhibiting locally and in overseas salons until around 1924.

Mrs. 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.

Cazneaux 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 her 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 own style.

Mrs. Milson evidently gave up photography shortly after sending the pictorial exhibition to Australia.


W. H. MOFFITT 1888-1948

William 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.

In 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 flat 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 pictorialists' right to use such processes as bromoil to achieve an artistic effect. The article was much admired by Cazneaux as a defence against post war criticisms of the 'fakery' of pictorialists' images.


MAY AND MINNA MOORE
  MAY c.1880-1930
  MINNA 1883-1957

May and Minna Moore were New Zealand born sisters who established a photographic studio in Wellington in 1908. May, who had attended Elam Art School in Auckland instigated the studio, and Minna, a teacher, joined her and later ran the studio after May had moved to Sydney around 1913. May Moore had been encouraged to move by the success of the Moore studio portraits of theatre personalities in New Zealand, and continued this specialty from a new studio in the Bulletin building in Sydney.

Minna 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 to Melbourne 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.

May 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.

Like Jack Cato, who also specialised in theatrical and social portraits, May and Minna Moore did not exhibit in the pictorial salons. Their work was published 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 by the pictorialists and especially the Photo Secessionists at the turn of the century, and effectively ended the era of the static 19th century studio portrait.


GEORGE J. MORRIS 1884-1959

George 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 and photoreproduction processes. At the time Morris visited the Kodak works in New York State.

He began exhibiting around 1925 as a member of the Sydney Camera Circle 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 assignments.

In 1927, Morris became a partner in Ramsay Photo Works, responsible for the copying and enlarging work. In connection with this business, Morris again travelled to Europe and America in 1936 carrying his Leica camera (an early 35 mm developed in 1925). Morris later exhibited his overseas pictures but in 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.

Morris served as secretary of the Sydney Camera Circle for many years but resigned in 1936 after a conflict over the election of R. V. Simpson q.v. One of his last activities was joining 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 device. As a result of an accident during this work Morris suffered a long illness before his death.

He was a close friend of Cecil Bostock with whom he shared interest in fine craftwork and 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 pictures 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.


WILLIAM T. OWEN 1898-1979
F.R.P.S. 1927

William Thomas Owen was born in New Zealand in 1898 and moved with his family to England in 1906 and began photography in 1908 when his father, Charles, a keen amateur, tired of the hobby. After service in the British Navy during WWI, Owen went to the Polytechnic Art School 1919-21 studying graphic art illustration and later to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In 1924 Owen began exhibiting in the Amateur Photographer competitions and the London and Royal Salons. He became a member of The Amateur Postal Camera Club, experimented with processes and did some professional work.

In 1927, Owen left England due to the Depression and settled in Melbourne working for Spencer 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.

As an amateur Owen found the light very different in Australia and, in particular, lacked the atmosphere he was used to. His Australian pictures made here followed the style of J. B. Eaton (q.v.) but did not retain the finish of his English subjects.

Owen was an active member of the Melbourne Camera 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 holds a good collection of Owen's work.


F. VAUDRY ROBINSON 1885-1961

Frederick 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.

Robinson was first apprenticed to Stephen Spurling II's studio in Launceston and later 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.

A one man show of Robinson's monochrome and colour bromoils was shown at Kodak Pty. Ltd's showrooms in Sydney in 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 Launceston.

He was not a regular exhibitor and unfortunately few examples of his photographs have survived. The Australia Beautiful, The Home Annual for 1928 illustrated several of his bromoils on canvas textured paper which were no doubt from his one man show.


L. HEY SHARP 1885-1965

Lewis 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 and Industries 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 and retired in 1949. He was also interested in economics and wrote a number of books on the subject.

Sharp 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.


R. V. SIMPSON d.1967

Richard 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.


ARTHUR SMITH d. 1945

Arthur Smith was born in England and had already 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.

Smith joined the Photographic Society of N.S.W. and was a regular writer on picture making. 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 in the 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.

Smith worked in a delicate manner and never lost his love of English atmosphere. He was reputed to have lit fires in fields to obtain 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.

Smith was invited to join the Sydney Camera Circle but felt it weakened the membership of the Photographic Society.


DR. JULIAN SMITH 1873-1947
F.R.P.S. 1930 Hon F.R.P.S. 1944

Julius Augustus Romaine Smith was born in London and came to Melbourne at an early age. Smith graduated in Medicine from Melbourne University and was an important surgeon. Smith took up photography around 1925 and by 1927 was exhibiting work in the annual London Salon. He must have been in England at the time as several portraits of English photographic personalities date from this time (see cat no 105).

Smith was a founder of the Victorian Salon and member of the Melbourne Camera Club. He worked almost exclusively in portraiture as the studio portrait suited his busy schedule which would have made outdoor work difficult. The portraits were usually character studies often inspired by Dickens writings, or illustrations of emotive themes. Titles such as 'The Old Firebrand' (see cat no 106) added this emotional meaning to the work.

To obtain greater richness in the colour of his prints (usually very large), Julian Smith developed his own method of over exposure, forced development in a hot bath using ferrycyanide to reduce the highlights as required, but which left depth in the dark tones. It was a characteristic invention, he developed various techniques and devices for medical use as well.

After 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 known outside Australia of any pictorialist. The National Gallery of Victoria and the National Library of Australia have collections of Julian Smith's prints.


JAMES STENING 1870-1953

James 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 of New South Wales in 1894 and by 1898 was winning medals in various exhibitions for his landscapes and seascapes.

As well as serving as an officer of the Photographic Society for many years, Stening was 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. Stening also 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'.

Stening appears to have ceased to exhibit around 1920 and is not listed as a member of 'The Circle' in 1921, though he evidently continued his interest in photography and adopted the new Leica camera when it was developed after 1925. He was a perfectionist in technique and preferred the fine detail of tonal gradation of platinum printing papers (see cat no 107), popular at the turn of the century, to the bromide prints most commonly used by Australian pictorialists. Nevertheless, Stening adopted the soft-focus style of pictorialism after about 1910 and his later work was similar to that of Norman Deck. (As Deck acquired Stening's negatives after his death and printed from them, some confusion has arisen in the attribution of unsigned prints, see cat no's 41, 113, 115.)

The Stening prints in the exhibition show a range of pictorial work particularly valuable as an illustration of the changes between the 1890's and 1920's within pictorialism as a whole. The exhibition mounts have been made with coloured papers to show the taste in mounting which up to 1900-1910, occupied nearly as much consideration as the making of the prints and are based on Stening's original mounts.


CLIVE STUART TOMPKINS 1900 - (?)
AR.P.S. 1930

Clive Stuart Tompkins was born in Victoria and after winning a scholarship to study Photo Lithography in 1915 learnt photography under the course. After Naval service Tompkins joined Spencer Shier's studio in Melbourne in 1919.

By 1923 Tompkins had established his own studio in Melbourne by buying out the Ainar Studio in Auburn. Tompkins became involved with various amateur and professional societies 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 an officer for many years of the Professional Photographers Association of Victoria (later the Institute of Victorian Photographers) which he 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 cat no 116 is an appropriate exhibit.

Tompkins first work was published in Table Talk Annual in 1923 and he did work for Adam and Eve magazine. In 1928 he was part of an exhibition group called '6 Amateurs 6 Professionals' (with R. Grimwade, Dr Smith, J. B. Eaton and W. Howieson, R. Hollick, S. Shier, E. Adamson, A. Dickinson, respectively).


A. WILKINSON 1869-1940

Alfred Wilkinson was a well known pictorialist in Adelaide from about 1910 until the early 1930's. He was a partner in the firm of Lodge and Wilkinson Hairdressers and an active member of the Adelaide Camera Club.

Cat 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.

 

 

 

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