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85/1284-7 Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Kiama', silver gelatin, made by Kerry and Co, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1905-1917. Click to enlarge.

Photograph of Kiama, NSW

Made
This photograph from a glass plate negative shows the town of Kiama, 28 km south of Wollongong, on the New South Wales coast. In the centre is the Post Office with its tall clock tower designed by the New South Wales Government Architect, James Johnstone Barnet, and built by W.R. Vaughan in 1879.

Margaret Simpson, Curator
October 2020

Reference:

Simpson, Phillip, 'Historical Guide to New South Wales', Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd, North Melbourne, Vic., 2020.

This photographic …

Summary

Object No.

85/1284-7

Object Statement

Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Kiama', silver gelatin, made by Kerry and Co, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1905-1917

Physical Description

Silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The image depicts the town of Kiama, on the south coast of New South Wales. The harbour and jetties of Kiama are depicted in the foreground on the left side of the image. Two empty row boats can be seen on the water. A dirt access road to the harbour and jetties is depicted in the centre of the image. A small shed and a pile of timber are depicted in the centre right of the image. A single building possibly a caretaker's residence or similar is depicted near the dirt road in the centre of the image. The building is raised off the ground and appears to be constructed of wood with an enclosed verandah. The roof is hipped in the centre with flat extensions at the front and back. A similar shaped building stands on the site today. The background of the image depicts the town of Kiama. Residential and commercial buildings can be seen on the town centre and rural properties and homes can be seen in the hills west of the town. Kiama's post office building, featuring a clock tower is depicted in the centre of the backgound. 'Tory's Hotel' is identifiable in the centre right of the background. A two-storey building in the centre left of the background features a striped awning and is inscribed '1905'. This building also appears to have a coat of arms. The caption, studio mark and studio number are inscribed on the reverse of the negative.

The Kiama Post Office, depicted in this image, was designed by James Barnet and completed in 1878. It is a Victorian Classical Revival style building featuring a three-level square clock tower and arched colonnades. The building is listed on the Register of the National Estate.

10/173 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 14 Kerry Studio Number

Marks

Caption on plate emulsion verso lower right, inscribed by hand in reverse print in ink 'KIAMA.'Caption enclosed within a scroll on plate emulsion verso, drawn by hand in ink.
Studio number and studio mark on plate emulsion verso lower right, inscribed by hand in reverse print in ink '14KERRY. Photo. Sydney.'Studio number enclosed within scroll around caption.
Inscription in plate emulsion verso bottom edge, scratched by hand 'Kiama from Metal Jetties' and upper right corner, scratched by hand '14'.

Dimensions

Width

215 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
Tyrrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929

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

Cite this Object

Harvard

Photograph of Kiama, NSW 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 2 August 2021, <https://ma.as/30122>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/30122 |title=Photograph of Kiama, NSW |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=2 August 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}