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85/1284 Glass plate negatives, various subjects, silver gelatin / glass, published by Kerry & Co, part of the Tyrrell collection, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, 1890-1917. Click to enlarge.

Kerry & Co. photographs from the Tyrrell Collection

Made
These photographic negatives were published by the Sydney firm Charles Kerry & Co. and are part of the Powerhouse Museum's Tyrrell collection which contains over 2,900 glass plate negatives by Kerry & Co. Although a few appear to be from the 1880s most were produced between 1892 and 1917. Over this period, and well into the early 1900s, prints from these negatives appeared in many Australian publications and albums of views. In 1903 the company began producing postcards from these negatives, …

Summary

Object No.

85/1284

Object Statement

Glass plate negatives, various subjects, silver gelatin / glass, published by Kerry & Co, part of the Tyrrell collection, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, 1890-1917

Physical Description

Glass plate negatives, various subjects, silver gelatin / glass, published by Kerry & Co., part of the Tyrrell collection, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, 1890-1917

Production

Made

Made

Notes

Charles Kerry was born in 1858 and by 1885 was running a studio in partnership with C. D. Jones. This partnership lasted until 1892, when Charles became sole owner and changed the studio's name to Kerry and Co. By 1890 the company was employing a number of photographers who would become famous in their own right. George Bell who covered rural New South Wales was employed in 1890 and Harold Bradley was doing outdoor work and covering events around Sydney by 1899.

Kerry continued to work in the field and in 1895 he took photographs of Royal National Park for New South Wales Government, photographed Queensland artesian bores and was employed by the New South Wales Government to travel the state and photograph Indigenous Australians. In 1897 Kerry led the first party to reach the summit of Mt Kosciuszko in winter conditions and photographed the Jenolan caves.

By 1900 Kerry had turned his studio into one of the largest and most respected photographic establishments in the colony. His new four story premises at 310 George St were designed by the architect H. C. Kent and the third floor studios alone could accommodate 70 people wanting their portraits taken.

In 1913 Kerry retired leaving the running of the studio to his nephew, unfortunately the business did not do well and Kerry and Co. closed its doors in 1917. Kerry himself died in 1928.

Geoff Barker, Curatorial, January, 2009

References
Newton, Gael, Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 - 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1988
David, Millar, Charles Kerry's Federation Australia, Sydney, David Ell Press, 1981
Tyrrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929
Charles Kerry opened his own studio in 1884, this evolved into Kerry and Co (c. 1893-1901), Kerry and Co closed in 1917.

History

Notes

These 2900 photographic negatives by Kerry & Co. are part of the Powerhouse Museum's 'Tyrrell Collection' once owned by Sydney bookseller, James Tyrrell. Almost all of these negatives are 21.5 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 inch) glass plates and many of those now held by the Powerhouse Museum collection would have been used to create postcards. In addition to the Kerry & Co. Studio images, the Tyrrell Collection at the Powerhouse Museum includes glass plate negatives published by Henry King and a number of other negatives by unattributed photographers

James Tyrrell used the images by Kerry & Co. and Henry King to produce his own booklets and views of New South Wales but although full of iconic Australian images, the collection does not appear to have been fully utilised by Tyrrell.

In 1980 the collection was purchased by Australian Consolidated Press who published a limited series of 2000 contact prints from the collection. Housed in boxes copies of these were given to the State Library of New South Wales and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney.

In 1985 Australian Consolidated Press donated the collection to the Powerhouse keeping a set of copy prints for themselves. The collection at this time consisted of 7,903 glass plate negatives and 7,916 contact positive prints, and of these 493 glass plates were damaged but usable, 13 plates totally broken.

A further 2,500 Kerry & Co. negatives are held in the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, although these do not appear to have been acquired from the Charles Kerry and Co. by Tyrrell.

Geoff Barker, Curatorial, January, 2009

References
Newton, Gael, Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 - 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1988
David, Millar, Charles Kerry's Federation Australia, Sydney, David Ell Press, 1981
Tyrrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Australian Consolidated Press under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1985

Acquisition Date

19 July 1985

Cite this Object

Harvard

Kerry & Co. photographs from the Tyrrell Collection 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 June 2021, <https://ma.as/27533>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/27533 |title=Kerry & Co. photographs from the Tyrrell Collection |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 June 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}