Wilhelm Hasenpflug was born in Germany and emigrated to Australia
in 1927. He had trained as a clerk in the German exporting
Munsterlager, and until 1932 was employed as a clerk or salesman
in similar firms in Sydney.
appears to have taken up photography around this time and was working
as a photographer for Leica Photo
Service in 1932.
Leica job was probably simply processing work. Hasenpflug began
his professional career in the commercial illustration studio
Roberts Pty Ltd. where he worked from 1935 - 37.
specialised in figure work, usually fashion and product advertising
as well as
some portraiture. His work began appearing
in Table Talk and The Sydney Morning Herald Women’s Supplement.
By 1938 Hasenpflug had photographs exhibited in the pictorial,
portrait and commercial sections of the mammoth 150th Anniversary
the foundation of Australia. His photograph of a child leaning
over a balustrade, in rather soft focus, was praised as “ .
. an outstanding study of light and shade” and an example
of “modern” photography.
Hasenpflug’s fashion work of this time (plate 74, Fashion
Illustration, c.1937) is reminiscent of the work of Munkasci,
a photographer who pioneered
fashion shots in the 1920s.
the time of the 150th Anniversary Salon Hasenpflug was working for
Athol Shmith’s studio
in Melbourne, which specialised in fashion and social portraiture.
He later worked for other commercial
Austin-Murcott and Ritter-Jeppersen, from 1942 - 45.
had to switch to child portraiture during the war years as he was
restricted from doing the industrial
to develop in the 1940s. Hasenpflug was naturalised at
the close of the
war and established a studio of his own in Drury Lane,
working in commercial illustration. Norman Ikin may have been associated
with this studio.
Hasenpflug later worked for Myer department stores doing
product advertisements before ill health ended his career.
he did not become professionally involved with photography until
his arrival in Australia, Hans Hasenpflug’s work was
closer in style to the New Photography (developed in Germany
than most of the Australian photographers. In particular
the close-up study of the cactus (plate 81) resembles the work of
based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980