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85/1284-1902 Photographic negative, gold miners, glass / silver / gelatine, published by Kerry and Co., Misima [attrib.], Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, 1890-1900. Click to enlarge.

Gold miners Misima

Made by Kerry and Co in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1884-1917.

This photographic negative was published by the Sydney firm Charles Kerry & Co. and is 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, further...

Summary

Object No.

85/1284-1902

Object Statement

Photographic negative, gold miners, glass / silver / gelatine, published by Kerry and Co., Misima [attrib.], Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, 1890-1900

Physical Description

Photographic negative, gold miners, glass / silver / gelatine, published by Kerry and Co., Misima [attrib.], Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, 1890-1900

A silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The image shows a group of Western men panning for gold in water surrounded by thick vegetation. Two men crouch down in the foreground holding gold pans and another four men wearing shirts, trousers and hats stand behind the men. Four Papua New Guinean men can be seen standing around the edge of the water. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed on the reverse of the negative.

68/4 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 43 Kerry Studio Number

Marks

Handwritten caption and studio number along the bottom of negative reads 'THE PROSPECTORS OF SUD-EST GOLDFIELD (43) KERRY PHOTO SYDNEY'.

Dimensions

Width

165 mm

Production

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
Tyrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929

Made

Kerry and Co c. 1884-1917

Photographed

null

History

Notes

This photographic negative is one of 2900 Kerry & Co. photographs in 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.

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 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

Used

Australian Consolidated Press

Cite this Object

Harvard

Gold miners Misima 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 January 2019, <https://ma.as/28538>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/28538 |title=Gold miners Misima |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 January 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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