Recently spotted on the new books display in the Art library The Melbourne camera Club: celebrating 120 years of achievement, follows on from the clubs earlier publication A century exposed: one hundred years of the Melbourne Camera Club. Together these books document the history of the club in the context of early Melbourne life and education, and draw on its archive to illustrate the creative output of members, many winning acceptances and awards at major national and international exhibitions. Photographic subjects include both Victorian and international depictions of people and places. Notable for the time, membership was equally open to women photographers.
Ludovico Hart, photography instructor, initiated the Working Men’s College Photographic Club in 1891. It continued under the auspices of the College until relocating and renaming as the Melbourne Camera Club in 1919. After over 13 moves in the intervening years, the Club moved to permanent premises in South Melbourne in 1979.
Heading off to explore the catalogue and stacks I discovered a treasure trove of international photographic journals from England, America, Japan and Germany. These early journals trace technological developments and explorations of photography as both medium for artistic depiction and source of a visual record. Advertising, competitions, tips from enthusiasts and later inclusions of images create a flavour of the time for the reader – particularly Die photographische kunst and The camera, both of which include striking graphics. Australian photographic journal titles include The Australian photographic journal (later Harringtons’ photographic journal) and Australasian photo-review.
The Library’s Picture Collection, includes images produced by Camera Club members including Ruth Hollick, John B. Eaton, William Howieson, Norman Ikin and Athol Shmith, along with thousands of photographic images of people and places from Victoria, dating as far back as the 1850’s; many of these are available online via our catalogue.
From Vienna to Camberwell Junction, local commercial photographer Hans Bonney captured the passing parade; lovely!