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Australian art

Photography

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Title

Untitled

1867-1888


Artist

William Cawston

Australia

circa 1820 - 1891


About

William Cawston was a professional photographer, gilder and framer. He was transported to Australia on a seven-year sentence in 1845 and in 1856 opened a business in Launceston, Tasmania, as a picture frame maker. By 1862 he had a photographic studio, which continued to operate in Launceston until 1888, when it became Cawston & Sons. Cawston continued to work as a studio photographer until 1891, producing portraits and views of Launceston.

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.


Details


Date

1867-1888


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

carte de visite


Dimensions

6.0 x 9.2 cm image; 6.3 x 10.2 cm mount card


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased 2014


Location

Not on display


Accession number

282.2014


Artist information

William Cawston

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history