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Australian art


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Sydney Bridge

circa 1934


Harold Cazneaux

New Zealand, Australia

30 Mar 1878 - 19 Jun 1953


It was in Sydney that New Zealand-born, Adelaide-trained Cazneaux ultimately made the photographs on which his high historical reputation is justifiably based. His personal vision helped to shape a nation's understanding of itself in the first half of the twentieth century. Emerging from the poetics of the pictorialist tradition, Cazneaux nonetheless admired, and imitated, the racier, more hard-edged themes of modernist photography. His interest in contemporary European photography, especially that of the German Weimar Republic, confirmed his subject matter as urban, industrial and documentary. The building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge provided him with a project perfectly formed for his artistic needs. Here, in but one of many superlative examples, Cazneaux contrasts the uncompromisingly mechanistic structure with a subtle tracery of light and shadow.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.


Other Titles

Bridge pattern

Arch of steel


circa 1934

Media category


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


29.7 x 21.5 cm image/sheet; 35.9 x 27.4 cm card

Signature & date

Signed l.r. card, pencil "H Cazneaux" and u.c. verso card, pencil ".../ H Cazneaux". Not dated.


Gift of the Cazneaux family 1975


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Harold Cazneaux

Works in the collection


Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 14 publications


Natasha Bullock, Look, 'Harold Cazneaux: artist in photography', pg.28-31, Sydney, Jun 2008, 28.

Natasha Bullock, Harold Cazneaux: artist in photography, Sydney, 2008.

Natasha Bullock (Curator), Soft shadows and sharp lines: Australian photography from Cazneaux to Dupain, Sydney, 2002. no pagination or catalogue numbers

Deborah Edward and Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Sydney moderns', pg.12-17, Sydney, 2013, 15 (illus.).

Philip Geeves and Gael Newton, Philip Geeves presents Cazneaux's Sydney 1904-1934, Sydney, 1980, 142, 143 (illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Australian Photography', pg. 198-207, Sydney, 1999, 202 (illus.).

Caroline Mackaness, Bridging Sydney, Sydney, 2006, 52 (illus.).

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 38 (illus.).

Gael Newton, Australian Pictorial Photography, Melbourne, 1979, 17. 26

Gael Newton, Silver and Grey - Fifty Years of Australian Photography 1900-1950, 1980. plate no. 55

Gael Newton, Project 7: Harold Cazneaux 1878 - 1953, Sydney, 1975. 26

Michael Wardell, My city of Sydney, Sydney, 2000, back cover (illus.). no pagination or catalogue numbers

Judith White, Look, 'Sydney-side-on', pg.28-29, Melbourne, Apr 2000, 29 (illus.).

Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia - A History of Photography, Sydney, 1988, 151. 90