Focus: Australian government photographers is now open at National Archives of Australia.
Between 1939 and 1996, dozens of photographers were employed by government agencies to capture Australian culture, people, landscapes and animals.
This new fascinating exhibition offers a close-up look at the lives and work of those tasked with documenting the visual heritage of Australia.
The exhibition showcases images drawn from the collection of almost 11 million images held by National Archives.
Curator, Emily Catt says the diverse array of photographs on display will captivate any visitor.
“From Tim Acker’s incredible aerial views of landscapes across Australia to Harry Frauca’s intimate shots of iconic Australian animals, there’s something for everyone to connect with.”
“Visitors can even step into our virtual darkroom to watch picture develop before their eyes,” she said.
National Archives Director-General, Simon Froude says the exhibition challenges existing perceptions of government photography.
“While it’s easy to associate government photography with promotional shots, Focus goes far beyond what visitors might expect.”
“The photographs in this exhibition demonstrate artistry and talent that transcends their bureaucratic origins,” says Mr Froude.
“It is fantastic for National Archives to be able give these photographers the recognition they deserve.”
Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke says it was wonderful to see so many previously unexhibited works on display.
“Australia’s national collections belong to everybody, including the millions of records and photos held by National Archives,” he said.
“It is crucial that these collections are open for all to appreciate and enjoy,’ said Minister Burke.
“Exhibitions like Focus allow Australians to connect with their history and culture.”
Focus: Australian government photographers is open now until 10 June 2024.
This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program.