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VIP: very important photographs 1840s–1940s

26 May – 19 August 2007

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The red carpet rolls out for an esteemed collection of photographs in VIP: very important photographs 1840s–1940s which opens at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, on Saturday 26 May 2007.

Drawn exclusively from the National Gallery’s collection, the exhibition showcases more than 200 works – from pioneers of mid-nineteenth century photography such as William Henry Talbot Fox and Julia Margaret Cameron to the years after the Second World War with works by key 20th century photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Olive Cotton and Walker Evans. While some photographs have become national icons, such as Max Dupain’s Sunbaker, there are many hidden gems that are not as widely recognised. The collection demonstrates the power and history of photography and portrays significant developments in the art medium throughout its first century of existence.

Photographic processes represented in the exhibition range from early daguerreotypes of the 1840s to the first successful permanent colour prints of the 1930s and 40s, and features an array of genres including family portraits, photojournalism and advertising.

In collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Australia is hosting Photofocus: a forum on collecting. This special event featuringkey international speakers explores what makes a photograph important and coincides with the opening of the exhibition on Saturday 26 May. Visit www.nga.gov.au/VIP/forum.cfm for more details.

VIP: very important photographs 1840s–1940s is curated by Gael Newton, Senior Curator, Photography, and Anne O’Hehir, Assistant Curator, Photography, at the National Gallery of Australia.

On view         
26 May – 19 August 2007
Orde Poynton and Project Galleries
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Admission fREE

nga.gov.au/exhibitions/

Media information and images:  

Caroline Vero
+61 2 6240 6431
caroline.vero@nga.gov.au

Todd Hayward
+61 2 6240 6700
todd.hayward@nga.gov.au