2002/4/2 Camera, glass plates (2 boxes) & camera film (1 box), Glyphoscope camera and viewer combined/ Kodak orthochromatic glass plates/ Eastman Portrait Films, metal/ glass/ paper/ fabric/ Bakelite, Jules Richard/ Kodak/ Eastman, Paris and USA, 1905-192
Max Dupain is considered Australia's most celebrated twentieth century photographer. Some of the material comprising this transfer was used in the production of commercial and personal photographs at the studios of Max Dupain from the c1930 until c1950.
Other photographic material, included in this transfer from the Macleay museum, is known to have been owned and used by Max Dupain's father and as such may be evidence of the influence Max father's facination and involvement with images may have had on the young Dupain.
Other material includes early cameras most likely used by Max as a hobbyist photographer.
Much of the material from Max Dupain may be considered significant on various
The material positively identified as being used in the practice of commercial photography by Max Dupain and associates (by David Moore) is significant in that it is representative of studio and dark room equipment used in the production of commercial photography.
The lighting equipment - flash bulbs, flash stands and studio lights - are examples of early artificial light technologies.
Max Dupain established studios in Bond Street, Sydney in 1933. From all accounts it was a prosporous commercial practice and Dupain worked in a variety of areas including fashion, celebrity and illustrative photography. At this time Dupain also produced modernist studies, nudes and beach shots. Some of the material in this acquisition has been identified as in use at the 49 Clarence Street studios which were occupied by Max Dupain and his associates around 1940.
For more detail regarding the use and significance of identified items please refer to the transcriptions of David Moore and Jean Blundell (nee Cazneaux) available on the blue file.
Innovation in Industry & Product Development:
Max Dupain's aesthetic innovations in an Australian Context:
Max commenced his apprenticeship in the studios of Cecil Bostock (1930) at a time when most commercial and art Australian photography (apart from photo journalism / documentary) continued to molify the other arts, in particular in the style of the pictorialist romanticism.
Max was greatly influenced by the work of Man Ray and the photographic work coming from the innovative German Bauhaus school during the Weimar Republic heyday (1927-1933).
Max was very impressed by the Neue Sachlich keit (new matter-of-factness) of the German photographers and seduced by the ideologies of this new style gleaned from translations. In particular the writings of GH Saxon Mills had left their mark. Quoting from Mills in his own essays:
"Photography belongs to the new age, its forms are mechanistic rather than naturalistic. It is part and parcel of the terrific and thrilling panorama opening out before us today of clean concrete buildings, steel radio masts, and the wings of the airliner. But its beauty is only for those who, themselves, are aware of the zeitgest - who belong conciously and proudly to this age, and have not their eyes fixed wistfully on the past".
Max brought the surreal nature, lines and contrast of the these practitioners to commercial clients in Sydney. Max's style helped the transformation of photography into a form of its own in Australia. It has been claimed that Max Dupain's work from the mid-1930s formed " . . . the first body of images in Australian photography to express seriously a modern aesthetic."
Significance in a Chronological Continuum:
The material that makes up this acquisition includes items owned and used by Max Dupain's father. This film and magic lantern equiment dates from 1880-1920 and includes an early hand wound 35mm motion picture camera.
The photographic equipment from Max's studio is representative of early commercial photography and includes items used to produce early artificial light photography.
Documentation - Extent & Quality:
Max Dupain's work has been well documented in several published volumes.
The documentation recieved from the Macleay Museum includes descriptions, valuations, condition and some provenance information.
The collection of material has been examined by David Moore (present at the Max Dupain studios from 1948-1951 & 1958-1959) and Jean Cazeneaux (). Transcriptions of these peoples recollections are on the blue file.