Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Picture Paradise: Asia–Pacific Photography 1840s–1940s

My apologies, dear VAOJ readers, for the few and far between postings over the summer months. This will slowly change as we get closer to the beginning of the new semester and the end of the author's natsubate ("summer fatigue"). Anyway...

Here is an excellent resource for visual anthropologists. The web site is for a photo exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia that is currently running until November. If you find yourself in Canberra, do check it out. For those of us stuck to the air conditioning and computer keyboard, the web site offers much interesting information. In "Themes" there are sections on Japanese photography and ethnographic photography. Here is the description of the exhibition from the web site itself:

This is the first exhibition to survey the history of photography of our region – from India and Sri Lanka, Southeast and East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to the west coast of North America. It features pioneer local photographers as well as Europeans working in the region. The exhibition reveals the rich heritage and the many outstanding achievements of the first century of photography in the Asia–Pacific region.

This significant gathering of over four hundred original photographs and albums includes gem-like daguerreotype portraits, mass-produced views and portraits on paper made possible by the revolutionary wet-plate and dry-plate glass negative-positive process, and prints from the modern era of small format film cameras and photojournalism.

Picture Paradise presents works from seventeen public and private collections in Australia, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America, many never previously loaned or exhibited. The majority of these works are from the National Gallery of Australia’s extensive photography collection and include the rarely seen nearly ten-metre-long Holtermann panorama of Sydney Harbour from 1875.

Link to Picture Paradise:

There is also a publication by Gael Newton that goes along with the exhibition (from which I am borrowing the image at the top of this post).

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