This image from a glass plate negative produced between 1880 and 1900 depicts the Darling River near Brewarrina in western New South Wales with two saddled horses tethered to a tree on the grassy river bank. The big river is at 'high river' with a good flow of water heading downstream. The flow is from right to left and it may not be long before an inland paddle steamer makes its way upriver to collect wool and farm goods.
Graeme Andrews OAM, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences volunteer under the supervision of Margaret Simpson, Curator, September 2016
This photographic negative was taken by the Sydney based photographer Henry King. It is part of a collection of over 1300 glass plates taken between 1880 and 1917, although most appear to have been made in the late 1880s and 1890s
King was one of the Colony's most significant early photographers and although born in England around 1855 grew up in Sydney. He found work with the well-known Sydney photographer J. Hubert Newman and in 1880 established a studio in partnership with William Slade. Four years later he was sole proprietor.
King quickly established a reputation for himself due to the high quality of his finished work. While King's income, like many other photographers, was dependent on portraiture he, like Kerry, is best known for his outdoor work. These views, particularly his city views, are justifiably praised and seem more carefully framed and printed than Kerry's. Outdoor views of Sydney make up the main bulk of King's work in the collection although, like Kerry, he took a series of photographs of the Jenolan Caves using magnesium flares.
Henry King died aged 68 in Waverley War Memorial Hospital on 22 May 1923 following abdominal surgery
Geoff Barker, Curatorial, December, 2008
King, Richard, Australian Dictionary of Biography - Online Edition
Josef Lebovic, Henry King, 1855 - 1923, auction catalogue, Josef Lebovic Gallery, Paddington, Australia, date unknown
Newton, Gael, Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 - 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1988