We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Arthur W Burman


active Australia, 1878–1915 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    carte de visite
    8.8 x 5.6 cm image; 10.5 x 6.4 cm mount card
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Arthur W Burman

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Arthur W Burman was the son of Melbourne photographer William Insull Burman. In the 1870s he worked for the Paterson Brothers, in whose studio he photographed the Chinese giant Chonkwicsee, a rival of Chang Woo Gow, another unusually tall gentleman. In 1880, as a photographer for the Victorian Government, he joined a special train of troopers and members of the press to photograph the capture of the bushranging Kelly Gang at Glenrowan. On 29 June 1880 Burman was captured photographing the body of outlaw Joe Byrne in a now iconic photograph by J W Lindt. Burman’s younger brother, Frederick Charles, was also a professional photographer with several successful studios in Melbourne between 1860 and 1900.

    A carte de visite is a stiff card of about 10 x 6.4 cm, with an attached paper photograph, invented in 1854 by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disderi. They were introduced into Australia in 1859 by William Blackwood with albums arriving in 1860, aiding the collection and distribution of multiple cartes. Cartes were usually portraits and were made by the millions worldwide. Multi-lens, or ‘multiplying’ cameras were introduced in the 1860s, which were capable of producing from 2 to 32 images in quick succession, dramatically increasing the number of cartes de visite that could be made from a single photographic plate. They were easily reproduced by making paper contact prints from the glass plates, which were then cut and pasted to card.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication