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.
carte de visite
8.8 x 5.6 cm image; 10.5 x 6.4 cm mount card
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Referenced in 1 publication
Judy Annear, The photograph and Australia, Sydney, Jun 2015, 245 (colour illus.).