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85/1284-766 Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Watering Sheep in the Interior', Kerry and Co, Sydney, Australia, c. 1884-1917. Click to enlarge.

‘Watering Sheep in the Interior’ by Kerry and Co

Made by Kerry, Charles H in Australia, Oceania, c. 1884-1917.

People living in arid areas of New South Wales often rely on underground water for their survival. Until the 1880s sheep could only be grazed in areas where there was lots of surface water - in rivers and dams, for example. The first of many bores was sunk into the Great Artesian Basin near Bourke in 1878. It tapped a reliable, underground source of water and so opened up the arid north-west of NSW to graziers.

By bringing water to the surface, settlers provided water for wildlife as well. As ...

Summary

Object No.

85/1284-766

Object Statement

Glass plate negative, full plate, 'Watering Sheep in the Interior', Kerry and Co, Sydney, Australia, c. 1884-1917

Physical Description

Silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The image depicts large flocks of sheep assembled around a drinking trough. The image has been taken in a flat rural area where much of the land has been cleared. A drinking trough is depicted in the centre of the image, extending from the foreground to the background of the image. A cleared area is depicted in the foreground of the image, muddy ground can be seen around the water trough. Large numbers of sheep are depicted on the left and right sides of the trough in the centre of the image and many are drinking from the trough. A man can be seen riding a horse in the background on the left side of the image and another man can be seen standing in the background on the right side of the image. The far background of the image depicts flat, treed land. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed on the reverse of the negative.

49/99 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 1595 Kerry Studio Number

Marks

Studio number and caption on plate emulsion verso lower right, inscribed by hand in reverse print in ink '1595. WATERING SHEEP IN THE INTERIOR.'
Studio mark on plate emulsion verso lower left, inscribed by hand in reverse print in ink 'KERRY. PHOTO. SYDNEY.'
Inscription in plate emulsion verso upper right corner, scratched by hand '1595'.

Dimensions

Width

215 mm

Production

Made

Kerry and Co Australia, Oceania c. 1884-1917

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 Tyrell, 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. Of these 493 glass plates were damaged but usable and 13 plates totally broken.

A further 2,500 Kerry & Co. negatives are held in the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney.
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 Tyrell, Sydney, 1929

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Watering Sheep in the Interior' by Kerry and Co 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 11 December 2019, <https://ma.as/30196>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/30196 |title='Watering Sheep in the Interior' by Kerry and Co |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=11 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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