Skip navigation

Stephen Spurling III, “Logger’s Bend, Gordon River, Tasmania,” 1906, silver gelatin print

The National Gallery of Australia created a wonderfully thorough site for Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific Photography 1840s-1940, which opens this Friday in conjunction with Vivid, Australia’s first National Photography Festival. In 2006, NGA Director Ron Radford announced his intention to build “the first museum collection dedicated to representing the history of photography across Asia and the Pacific.” In the two intervening years, they acquired nearly 10,000 photographs, with an emphasis on Indonesian, South and Southeast Asian, and Australian images, ranging from 19th century colonialist documentary work to high Modernism. “This exhibition,” reads the website, “will be the first survey of the history of photography from India and Sri Lanka through Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific to the west coast of North America, from the formative decades of the 1840s to 1860s to the early 1940s and advent of the Second World War.” The National Gallery has 99 images from the exhibition on view, as well as a ton of supplemental material, including a fine short history of Asian-Pacific photography by curator Gael Newton.

Francis Chit, “‘Golden Mountain’ Inside the Palace on the Occasion of the Ceremonial Haircut of the Heir to the Throne,” 1891, albumen print

Charles Scowen, “Nutmeg,” 1895, albumen print

Charles Shepherd, “Afreedis,” c.1862, albumen print

J.W. Lindt, “Body of Joe Byrne, Member of the Kelly Gang, Hung up for Photography, Benalla,” 1880, silver gelatin print

Olive Cotton, “Papyrus,” 1938, silver gelatin print

Lillian Louisa Pitts, “Pretending I was making the animals at the zoo,” from My Summer Holiday at Merrigum, Victoria, c.1915

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: